Silvio Berlusconi has described Emmanuel Macron as a “good looking lad with a with a good looking mom,” in an apparent dig at the age gap between the newly elected French president and his wife Brigitte Trogneux.
The former Italian prime minister, who developed a reputation for diplomatic blunders during his years in power, joked on Monday that Mr Macron was a “39-year-old lad, with good work experience under him and most of all with a good looking mom who has carried him under her arm when he was still a child”.
Mr Berlusconi did not mention Ms Trogneux’s name.
Mr Macron, who at 39 is the youngest leader of France since Napoleon, is married to his former literature teacher, who is 24 years his senior.
Much has been made of their romance, and of the fact that Mr Macron was just 17 when he declared his intention to marry Ms Trogneux.
The 80-year old Italian politician is in a relationship with Francesca Pascale, who is 49 years his junior.
Mr Berlusconi, who was speaking at an event in Monza in support of the Forza Italia candidate for mayor, was discussing the French election when he came up with his latest “joke”.
The former prime minister has made a string of gaffes on the world and domestic stages, and has in the past accused his critics of lacking a sense of humour.
Among the most infamous blunders, he said the thousands of people made homeless by the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake should act like they are on a camping trip, and hailing then US president Barack Obama as “handsome, young and also suntanned”.