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Berlusconi still refusing to resign

Opposition slams him for latest quip

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#14 — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi —Facebook: 308,693; Orkut: 156. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has dismissed suggestions from the opposition to resign. The calls came after Berlusconi made vulgar comments about his own party, reports the Wall Street Journal. Even the Catholic church has lambasted him for shaming Italy.  

Berlusconi, who said that his party, the PDL, rename itself with a slang term for female genitalia, is under fire from newspapers and opposition parties who blasted him for his comments.

The remark, which was made to a group of party deputies in parliament has drawn severe criticism from members of the opposition who believe that it reinforces concurs that the 75-year-old Belusconi has deep contempt for women. 

More from GlobalPost: Berlusconi calls Merkel an unfuckable lard-arse.  

According to the Guardian:

Responding to the slide in the polls of his Freedom People party caused by the financial crisis and his sex scandals, Berlusconi reportedly told MPs he had commissioned surveys to find a new name for the party, which started life in 1993 as Forza Italia, or Go Italy.

"Some of polls say the best choice would be Forza Gnocca," he joked, according to the Italian daily La Stampa.

The word he used, “gnocca” has a range of meanings, explains the Telegraph, from “babe” or “crumpet” to the female genitalia.

More from GlobalPost: Cardinal bashes Italy over "moral decay."  

According to Reuters:

"His misogynist jokes are offensive to women, who are considered less and less as people and ever more as 'goods' to be sold to the highest bidder," Giuliano Carlino, a senator from the opposition Italy of Values party said.

The mounting financial crisis in Italy, exacerbated by the downgrade of Italy's debt by Moody's, and the growing divisions within his coalition have been propelling speculation that the Berlusconi government will collapse before his term is over in 2013.