Italian Ignominy: Berlusconi Braggadocio

Italian men may have invented the fashion of wearing coats on their shoulders without putting their arms in the sleeves, but Silvio has taken bravura into new dimensions. Embattled French ex-President Jacques Chirac must be green with envy as he tries to avoid court over corruption charges, while Il Cavailere sails on through multiple court defences over the years. Currently they include bribing his own lawyer to make false testimony (expired 10 yr time limit may stop Berlusconi going down, but the lawyer is guilty so bribery proved); massive tax evasion by his media company Mediaset; and a case involving under-aged prostitutes and abuse of power over police. See previous KC coverage in June 2009 of Silvio’s antics… ca change!

Long-suffering Libyans had no choice about their embarrassing dictator, but Italians have continued to vote Slimey Silvio back in, even while he made a mockery of the Italian parliament (passing laws to protect him from prosecution) and used his media empire to mold public opinion and attack opponents. Italian TV is very trashy and a reflection of Berlusconi’s vulgar taste in Bunga Bunga raunch. Sociologists can decide if tolerance of his outrageous predatory sexual behaviour is a source of national pride, but from outside the country it’s hard to believe he still gets away with openly using ‘call girls’, with the perks of office to faciltate. Our Queen was clearly not impressed by his rambunctious behaviour at a recent G20 gathering.

Phone-tapping transcripts of his conversations are corkers, but one wonders whether he was playing to his audience. Apparently fed up with criticism, Berlusconi was recorded saying that he was over Italy: “I couldn’t give a fuck. In a few months I’m going to go away and mind my own fucking business. I’m going to leave this shitty country that makes me feel liking puking”. Maybe he’s heading for some Libyan desert oasis to join his old pal Muammar.

Big Jacques was known as a ‘ladies’ man’, but Silvio’s in a league of his own (both aged 74). In the latest phone taps he laments only having 8 women in one night, despite a queue of eleven waiting. Possibly a ruse to impress the macho Italian electorate, if Berlusconi knew of the recordings, but Machiavelli (compulsory mention) would approve.

The final irony is Standard & Poor’s downgrade of Italian sovereign debt to A/A-1. Did they find Silvio’s virility claims incredible, or suddenly wake up to the other massive ‘overhang’ – Italian public debt – or both. It’s equal to that of all PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) put together: another Silvio legacy. Maybe he really is taking revenge on thankless countrymen. Vergognati Italia! Shame!

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