Thursday, 31 March 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the cleansing of the island of Lampedusa.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011. Island of Lampedusa (Province of Agrigento, Sicily, Italy). Silvio Berlusconi pledge to “liberate” in “48-60 hours” the tiny island from the refugees who fled North Africa, whilst he buys a property in Lampedusa, mixing business with pleasure.

Berlusconi's show begins
A jubilant crowd was waiting for the Prime Minister's show yesterday in Lampedusa (a minuscule island that lies much closer to Tunisia's shores than Sicily).

Berlusconi with Lampedusa Mayor on stage
The trouble there is that almost 20,000 migrants (mostly from Tunisia and Libya) have landed along the beaches of the 20 sq Km (8 sq miles, twice as big as London's Richmond Park) Lampedusa island since the beginning of the year (and many more are expected, as troubles in north Africa are still there), so the inhabitants got in the desperate need of a real decision-maker who's going to fix it snappy. Not just the usual funny Berlusconi.

Soldati perquisiscono immigranti a Lampedusa
Migrants and soldiers
And they got it. Mr Berlusconi has made one of his famous vows: in two – maximum 2.5 – days Lampedusa “will be liberated” and thousands of North Africans will find their way home, with the help of an Italian assault ship and five ferries. To better underline his commitment, he announced to each and everyone that he became a villager of the island, since – to mix business with pleasure – he just bought a new dwelling there: Villa Due Palme (Two Palms). A new villa to be added to Berlusconi's estates.

Villa Due Palme di Silvio Berlusconi a Lampedusa
Berlusconi's Villa Due Palme (Two Palms)
While many of the Berlusconi fan applauds to his macho intents, Lampedusa Mayor – Mr De Rubeis – declared that he believed “the 60 per cent of what Berlusconi has said”, on a popular radio programme called “La Zanzara” (The Mosquito), broadcast by Radio24 Channel.

Will the energetic politician keep his promise or will it end up with a blunder, as apparently it happened with Silvio's previous engagement about cleaning-up the streets of Naples? Wait (60 hours) and see.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and the Neapolitan Rubbish War

Saturday, March 26 2011. Naples (Campania, Italy). 1,200 tonnes of waste in the streets of Naples. A problem Silvio Berlusconi already solved for good, several times.

Silvio Berlusconi brandishes a broom in Neaples
Silvio, the road-sweeper
“The waste emergency is over!” declared a triumphant Berlusconi, thank to Guido Bertolaso (then the head of the Civil Protection Department) who dealt with the problem, and the incinerators in Hamburg (Germany), were a few hundred tonnes of garbage were sent, from Campania. Daily. It was July 2008.

The newly elected Prime Minister's blitzkrieg against the garbage of Naples was a visible sign of his utter commitment and ability in tackling Italy long-time problems.

After then, the rubbish problem showed up a few times, from time to time. And our hero (and his staff) always answered in a snappy way, as usual. With a great deal of humour and levity.

Naples today (ANSA)
Here are some of the best puns: “My challenge is to make Naples the cleanest city in Italy and in the world!” and “the model should be Singapore, where littering was punished with 7 lashes on the back”, “Let's talk about the REAL waste” and “TG3 (note: the RAI “communist” channel's news) does not exist”, “It (the Acerra's incinerator) will pollute like three small cars”, “In Acerra everything works perfectly” and “Were has he been? In Acerra or Disneyworld”.

At least he managed to find where the problem is: Mafia control over the waste business, illegal dumping of risky waste, the Neapolitans are not recycling enough, the Neapolitans should behave in a better way, the (old) Naples' administration was full of communists. Will he find the REAL solution too?

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Comparative Advertising: free Swedish TV and Mr Berlusconi

February 2005. State-funded Sveriges Television choose the Italian tycoon Silvio Berlusconi as a negative testimonial of its free TV campaign.

COMPARATIVE ADVERTISING: advertising in which a competitor's product is named and compared with the advertiser's product (source: Merriam Webster dictionary online). Needless to say, you need a lousy competitor in order to brag about the great feature of your product.

Silvio Berlusconi on state-funded Sveriges Television Swedish TV, not exactly as a role model
Berlusconi on TV
That's exactly what Sweden national television broadcaster (Sveriges Television – SVT) does in 2005. In order to advertise the most significant feature of its product – freedom – goes for something (or someone) that is the denial of liberty, and so decides to “hire” Berlusconi and his close friend Mr Putin.

They both appeared in SVT commercials, which – in the case of the Italian politician – says: “Silvio Berlusconi controls Italy's national television broadcasters' 92 per cent. In 2001 he was elected prime minister following a massive TV campaign. In the aftermath a court asked him to give away one of his TVs, but the law was changed and the sentence lost its power. SVT, free TV”.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

The commercial ad's music track is a mandolin-played version of “'O sole mio, possibly as a tribute to the Italian premier's legendary appreciation of Neapolitan folk music. Quite a funny picture of Berlusconi.

When Italian foreign ministry summons Sweden's ambassador to complain about the ad he can only say that “the media in Sweden are independent and free” (in other words it's not her problem). Are there many chances that the Italian entrepreneur and TV monopolist understood what she was talking about?

Friday, 25 March 2011

Silvio Berlusconi DID NOT sing any song

Thursday, 24 March 2011. Silvio Berlusconi DID NOT sing any song. Signed: The Italian Government's Cabinet.

The Cabinet of the Italian Government issues a clarifying note – through it's official site – that should stop for good the terrible and slanderous rumours the communist press has been spreading around in the previous days.

The Italian Government official note
The Italian Government official note
The rumours follow the dinner Mr Berlusconi organised at Palazzo Grazioli, his residence in Rome, with a group of members of the Italian Parliament, called the Responsible Ones (Movement of National Responsibility). The group - founded by Domenico Scilipoti - is called "The Responsible Ones" because the members switched sides (they were affiliated to Antonio Di Pietro's Italy of Values), in order to keep Silvio Berlusconi's coalition alive.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Silvio Berlusconi and The Betty's Horror Show pictures

Monday, 21 March 2011. Milan. New leaks from the Rubygate investigation. At least 33 women are involved with Silvio Berlusconi's "flamboyant life".

Foto di Iris Berardi, ragazza bunga-bunga
Iris Berardi
New details – and pictures (allegedly taken by model Barbara Guerra's mobile phone) – have been leaking in the past days about Mr Berlusconi's flamboyant way of living and hot nights, target of an investigation called Rubygate, from the name of Ruby Rubacuori (nick name for Karima Rashida El Mahroug), the Tunisian girl (later it would turn out she is actually Moroccan) the Italian prime minister might have paid for sex whilst she was still a minor.

The other under-age girl being Iris Berardi, a brazilian showgirl and possibly a prostitute.

Ruby Rubacuori al lavoro
Karima Rashida El Mahroug
(aka Ruby Rubacuori)
Allegedly Arcore's Villa San Martino hosted dressing-up (and down) parties, where female guests played different roles: AC Milan's players (specially Ronaldinho and his buck teeth), policewomen, nurses and so on.

Prosecutors linked at least 33 women to the 74-year-old Italian politician. Next month the first of a series of hearings will be held in Milan.

The proceedings are likely to linger on for quite some time.

Perhaps in an attempt to disguise his real identity, some of Berlusconi's women (like former show-girl and dental hygienist and now politician Nicole Minetti) gave up the Papi (Daddy) nickname and called the politician Betty (yes, it's a female nickname in Italy too!). Is't that funny?

Nicole Minetti al lavoro
Nicole Minetti
The investigation seems to have clarified the bunga-bunga price list that was in use during the Arcore's hot nights:
- 2,000 euro (around £1,750, $2,835) were paid to the girls for the mere participation to the evening;
- 5,000 euro (about £4,370, $7,085) were granted for those who - after the dinner - were to participate to the bunga-bunga party, in the discotheque underground;
- up to 7,000 euro (£6,115, $9,920 circa) was (allegedly) the reward for the chosen one, who would spend the night with “Betty” and... more bunga-bunga.

The date of the begin of the proceedings is April 6, 2011.

Foto presumibilmente proveniente dal cellulare di Barbara Guerra
Lesbian games in Arcore?
Immagine telefonino Brabara Guerra
Picture (allegedly) taken from Arcore's nights

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Too many women for Silvio Berlusconi?

Sunday, 25 January 2009. Sassari (Sardinia). Silvio Berlusconi, Il Cavaliere, admits he hasn't a clue about how to solve the problem of rapes in Rome and other Italian cities.

Following a series of sex related assaults carried out around Italy, reporters questioned the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi about the possibility of deploying army troops to defent women and curb sexual crime.

Foto di Silvio e le sue fan
Berlusconi laughing with fans (female fans, of course)
The politician replied by saying that there would be the need to send as many soldiers as there are beautiful girls and women in country.

So, Italy would need millions of soldiers, not just 300,000 units an initial the proposal stated.

People shouldn't forget that Silvio remarks are often made with a sense of "levity", as the president billionaire pointed out later. Oh, he can be so funny, Silvio Berlusconi.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Silvio Berlusconi show off his proficiency in English

Saturday, 14 September 2002. Silvio Berlusconi is in Camp David, officially visiting the USA. The Italian politician makes a speech in English and US President George W Bush gets quite impressed by his knowledge of foreign languages.

After a year from the 9/11 terrible attacks upon New York City and the Pentagon, Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi travelled to the United States of America in order to meet up with president George W Bush.

Silvio Berlusconi - looking just like James Gandolfini - and George W Bush at Camp David in September 2012
Who's the guy on the left? Tony Soprano or Silvio Berlusconi?
The two fellow politicians are notably good friends.

The main reason of the visit was to thoroughly discuss steps to be taken regarding the war on terrorism, the (apparently) related situation in Iraq and how to handle the whole thing at the United Nations.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Berlusconi's suggestions to camping peeps

Wednesday, 1 April 2009. L'Aquila, Italy. The Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi advise the earthquake victims to take it easy and be happy.

In the aftermath of one of the most devastating earthquakes in many years, leaving 17,000 homeless and killing 260 people (including 16 children*), president Silvio Berlusconi toured some of the tent sites around central Italy Abruzzo's capital L'Aquila, as well as the severely damaged historical downtown.

Foto di Silvio Berlusconi con elmetto dei vigili del fuoco
Berlusconi's Fire Brigade
Wearing a fireman's helmet (Silvio's headgear can be quite varied), he surveyed, met local people, bestowed wise advices.

When interviewed, the Italian prime minister admitted that the lodgings where "a bit" temporary, but suggested that the tent sites' inhabitants should "see it as a weekend of camping", since they did not "lack anything".

"They have medicaments, food and shelter for the night" declared an optimistic Silvio to the media (he was being interviewed by a German television channel), unable to understand why people seemed to be so gloom.

Actually earthquake-stroke people tend to see the dark side of things and perhaps they should heed good advices form Italian Silvio and try and look on the bright side of things.

Or - as someone suggested - the Italian prime minister and the media billionaire was not completely serious and he just meant to play an April Fool's trick, in order to alleviate a bit of strain? Or he just wanted to add a new witty remark to the long list of infamous Berlusconi's quotes? You can never know, with such a flamboyant and funny prime minister...

*Unfortunately the final number of casualties will rise, up to 309 people.

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Berlusconi call puts Angela Merkel (and a Nato summit) on hold.

Saturday, 4 April 2009. Baden-Baden (Germany), along the Rhine river. The Italian politician-entrepreneur Berlusconi keeps hanging the Nato summit host Angela Merkel whilst talking on the phone.

President Berlusconi this time holds up the start of a NATO summit and keeps hanging the Chancellor of Germany, who's receiving the guests of the meeting. He gets off his car, Angela Merkel's looking forward to greet him and shake hands with him, but Silvio just can't hang the phone (as he explains, with clear gestures to the host of the meeting. Once again, funny stuff from Berlusconi).

Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel

Nato leaders then cross the pedestrian bridge over the Rhine - with Merkel and Obama in front line - in order to meet France's President Sarkozy.

Believe it or not, Silvio is on the phone, whilst strolling around. And the puzzled Mrs Merkel has to start the event's opening ceremony without Italy's Berlusconi.

Foto di Silvio Berlusconi al telefono mentre Angela Merkel aspetta
Over the telephone
In his defence, the Italian Prime Minister was talking to Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey's Prime Minister) and the call was pertinent to the summit, but we can assume he could have found a way to manage it in a snappier way.

Couldn't he?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Here's my daughter. She's already come of age.

Saturday, 19 February 2011. Italy's Capital historical centre. The Italian politician-entrepreneur meets up with the journalist, a relaxing moment with Silvio Berlusconi. Or is it?

Immagine Enrico Mentana
Enrico Mentana, Director of TG La7
Silvio Berlusconi and Enrico Mentana (former anchorman of Berlusconi's TG5 and Matrix TV programmes and now news director at La7, Italian niche TV channel) bump into each other centre of Rome.

The Italian Prime Minister's armour-plated car is leaving Palazzo Grazioli, his residence in Rome. Mentana is strolling around with his family.

Silvio Berlusconi spots his former employee, stops the procession, gets out of his car to greet him. Big smiles, hand shaking (apparently they both forgot any previous conflict. And they did have conflicts*!), then the Premier starts a small talk with the youngest of Mentana's children, sitting on the journalist shoulders: «You're such a big girl, you shouldn't need to suck a dummy».