Arriving at a NATO summit in 2009, Berlusconi left the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, waiting around for more than 15 minutes as he chatted on his mobile phone. As Merkel stood waiting to greet him on the red carpet, he waved her away and pointed to his phone. Merkel finally opted to start the event’s opening ceremony without the Italian leader.
This was not the worst instance of disrespect between the two. In a 2011 taped conversation with an Italian newspaper editor, Berlusconi reportedly referred to the German Chancellor as “unf***able” and a “lard-*ss.”