Rome, January 24 - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi said he had not had recent communications with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that perhaps a reason was that he once shouted "peekaboo" at her during an official visit in Trieste. "I have a great familiarity with her, and the week before Putin had done the same to me," Bersluconi said during an Italian radio interview on Thursday. "With Merkel I have a cordial relationship". Berlusconi went on to deny reported insults he made in 2011 about Merkel's sex appeal. "She was told things that I reportedly said about her, which I would never have said about her or anyone else," he said. Berlusconi is the leader of Italy's center-right coalition, one of the main contenders in the upcoming February 24-25 elections.