Rome, Sept 19: Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was recorded on tape boasting that he slept with eight women in a single night, The Daily Telegraph reported.
In the tape, Berlusconi lamented that he could not manage another three women that night.
The conversations were wire-tapped as part of an investigation into an alleged prostitution ring surrounding the prime minister.
The taped conversations also suggested for the first time that Mr Berlusconi gave money to the women he allegedly slept with, contradicting his repeated insistence that he has never paid for sex.
In revelations which are set to test Italian tolerance to the limit, the conversations also offered the strongest evidence yet that the scandal-prone billionaire used taxpayers’ money and state-owned aircraft to fly alleged prostitutes around Italy.
Last week Berlusconi pushed through parliament a 54 billion euro austerity package which will hit pensions, public services and retirement ages, sparking violent clashes between riot police and demonstrators outside parliament in Rome.
The wire-taps suggested that Berlusconi invited at least one alleged prostitute to accompany him from Rome to Milan on his plane, along with the businessman who is accused of acting as his pimp.
Opposition leaders yesterday called for an urgent enquiry to determine whether the prime minister abused his position in reportedly transporting Marysthell Polanco, 25, a glamour model from the Dominican Republic, and possibly other women.
The taped conversations revealed in extraordinary detail how parties involving dozens of young starlets and escort girls were organised for the 74-year-old Italian premier by a middleman, Gianpaolo Tarantini, 36, a convicted cocaine dealer.
Tarantini is being investigated for allegedly recruiting young women, and has also been accused of blackmailing the prime minister in exchange for his silence over the alleged prostitution ring.
Berlusconi was recorded telling the entrepreneur in Oct 2008 not to worry about paying the women too much, because they were already "well looked after".
In one conversation taped by investigators in early 2009, Berlusconi told him: "Last night I had a queue outside my door, there were 11 of them. I only managed to do eight of them, I couldn’t manage any more. You just can’t get round to all of them.
"But this morning I feel great, I’m pleased with my stamina."
The prime minister, who is already on trial in Milan on separate allegations of abuse of office and paying for sex with an underage prostitute, frequently complained that his official duties prevented him from spending more time with his female admirers.
"Oh, to pass the days with my babes; I’m just the prime minister in my spare time," he allegedly said in one conversation.
In Sept 2008 he lamented that he faced a "terrible" week because he had a series of international commitments, including meetings with the Pope and Italy’s president; Gordon Brown, the then British prime minister; Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president; and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor.
The leaked conversations are among an extraordinary 100,000 telephone conversations which Italian prosecutors wire-tapped as part of their investigation into whether prostitutes were provided for the prime minister by Mr Tarantini, his wife, and six co-accused.
Tarantini allegedly tried to arrange a sleazy rendez-vous for his patron involving an underwear model, Francesca Lana, and a well-known actress, Manuela Arcuri. He also allegedly advised the women to wear short black dresses, but to avoid high heels because they would tower over the 5ft 6in prime minister.
Berlusconi specified in one conversation: "Don’t bring tall girls because we (he and his other guests) are not tall."
The transcripts reveal that Berlusconi, who turns 75 later this month, had a particular penchant for what he described as "babes" in their early twenties, joking with Tarantini that a showgirl who turned 29 was already becoming "an old lady".
The latest revelations will increase concerns in Italy over whether Berlusconi can concentrate on rescuing Italy from its acute economic problems at a time when the country risks being sucked into the euro zone crisis.
Gianfranco Fini, the speaker of the lower house of parliament and a formerly staunch ally of Mr Berlusconi, suggested it was time for him to step down.
"No one understands why the premier is dedicating a good deal of his time to questions not related to fighting the economic crisis and relaunching the economy," he said.
Felice Bellisario, of the opposition Italy of Values party, said the latest revelations were "squalid and disturbing" and accused him of being "a sick man" who needed professional treatment.
Berlusconi already faces four trials on charges ranging from bribery, tax fraud and false accounting to paying for sex with Karima El Mahroug, a teenage exotic dancer who prosecutors claim was working as an underage prostitute.
The leaking of so much material before a trial has even started would not be allowed in the UK, but in Italy intercepted conversations that are part of investigations can be published once they are officially deposited in the courthouse where the prosecutors are based.
Tarantini is currently in custody for allegedly extorting hundreds of thousands of euros from Mr Berlusconi. The premier says he gave money to Tarantini and his wife, who was also arrested, because he is a generous man who was trying to help a "family in need."
Corriere della Sera, one of the newspapers that printed the transcripts, cautioned its readers that it had omitted "the heavier or more vulgar passages, as well as detailed sexual descriptions" that were picked up in the phone calls.