Italy's troubled parliament is "full of whores ready to do everything" according to one of the country's most influential songwriters.

Franco Battiato, who is also a Regional Councillor for Culture in Sicily, shocked the European Parliament in Brussels during a meeting dedicated to "new paths between tourism and culture in Sicily".

"This Italy sucks," he said. "What is happening in Italy is a biblical prophecy: we speak the same language but we don't understand each other. It's unacceptable. At least we are honest, although I'm not keen on politics.

"Those whores who are in Parliament would do everything. It's unacceptable. They should open a brothel instead."

Newly appointed speaker of the lower chamber Laura Boldrini said that Battiato's words are "vulgar and offensive".

"I reject Battiato's insults directed against the Parliament's dignity," she said.

The songwriter, who played in London on Monday, has regularly attacked the ignorance and lack of political values of the Italian society as a whole. In 1992, his song "Povera Patria" became a revolutionary anthem denouncing the murders of the judges Falcone and Borsellino by the Mafia.