"Silvio Berlusconi has said he invited escort girls to his parties 'to boost his morale.' In a candid exchange with magistrate Pasquale Drago in May, details of which were reported by Italy’s newspapers Sunday, Mr. Berlusconi said he had asked his butler to place the women that businessman Giampaolo Tarantini brought to his dinners across the table from him, 'to lift up my morale.' He said that if he had genuinely wanted to invite prostitutes, there were plenty in Rome already."
"The success of Berlusconi is thus not a blip or an anomaly, but goes to the heart of Italian culture, and reveals the widespread disbelief in Italy that politics could ever be cleaned up or made remotely fair. So Berlusconi’s insistence that the criminal charges against him are merely trumped up by his enemies finds fertile territory; even those who oppose him are willing to assume that an element of persecution is involved, as if what mattered were not his guilt but the spirit in which the investigation is carried out, since every politician is presumed guilty one way or another and it’s common credence that no action on any [...]
How much longer can Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survive? "Mr Berlusconi is unpopular. People are sufficiently repelled by his antics and the failure of his government to improve their lives that his rating has fallen below 30 per cent for the first time," says Britain's Independent, while even businessman are turning against him and considering what happens next. There are even suggestions the Berlusconi might flee the country to avoid prosecution. All in all, it seems like the Prime Minister has hit a very rough patch. However it ends, his countrymen should be happy that he has given them the gift of "bunga-bunga," a kind of [...]