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Berlusconi now in ''showgirl'' comment row

entertainment Updated: May 23, 2009 17:22 IST

Emma Marcegaglia, the head of Italy's industrialists, was not pleased when prime minister Silvio Berlusconi joked that she was like a "showgirl".

In his address to the annual meeting of Confindustra, Italy's elite industrialist grouping, Berlusconi jokingly used the word "velina" to refer to Marcegaglia, a term used in Italian television to denote a showgirl, reports The Scotsman.

Later, at another meeting, Marcegaglia, who considers herself a hard-nosed businesswoman, said: "Frankly, I have nothing against showgirls, but I prefer (to be known as] a serious person, a leader, a free and steady person."

Berlusconi's wife, meanwhile, has publicly criticized what she says is his party's selection of young attractive women to run in June's European elections.