Sunday, 28 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi gets angry (and decides to get back to politics)

Saturday, October 27, 2012. Silvio Berlusconi does an about-turn: he will not leave politics, because he must reform the judiciary first. And he might end support for Monti's government as well. And he is still very angry at Merkel-Sarkozy, you know why...

An angry Silvio Berlusconi
The recent sentence by a Milan's tribunal in the Mediaset-trial – last Friday Silvio Berlusconi was condemned to four years in jail, diminished to only one year thank to a tax fraud official remission – irritated the former Italian prime minister to such an extent, that he burst out talking nonsense, as usual, using its powerful media machinery.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi and the end?

Friday, October 26, 2012. Few days after Silvio Berlusconi stated that he will not stand as a prime minister candidate in 2013 elections, a tribunal sentences the tycoon for tax fraud (just in case).

Is it the endo or just another chapter that unfolds?
“For the love of Italy” said Berlusconi a couple of days ago “I will not be presenting my candidacy”, referring to next year Italian elections, but he will remain at the side of younger politicians. Many people did not take the statement seriously, knowing the ability of Silvio Berlusconi in creating dramatic moments and comebacks. “I don't believe it” declared Berlusconi's former friend Umberto Bossi, whilst Romano Prodi long-lasting adversary said “You can never tell, wait before writing down the headlines”.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi and the real estate business

Monday, October 22, 2012. Gets public the news that a Silvio Berlusconi-owned real estate agent bought an apartment from the Neapolitan singer Mariano Apicella, a favourable witness in the Ruby-trial.

Silvio Berlusconi, Mariano Apicella, Bruno Vespa, on a TV show
Apicella, Berlusconi - always willing to help a friend out -, Vespa
Mariano Apicella is a Neapolitan singer, “personal minstrel" of Silvio Berlusconi - together* they also published a music album, dubbed “Amore Vero” (“True Love”) in November 2011 - and he is a regular guest to the bunga-bunga parties (note: rumours spread that bung-bunga has been renamed squit-squit, but this is another story) at the former Italian PM mansion.

During the hearings of the so-called Ruby-trial (you know, Silvio is accused of having paid for sex with an under-age nightclub dancer, Karima El Mahroug, aka Ruby the Heartbreaker), Apicella testified – he is giving a favourable testimony in the proceedings against Berlusconi – that he had never witnessed any kind of “grope” during the Arcore's Villa San Martino's hedonistic evenings, and he never saw the former Prime Minister “lay his hands on female guests”.

Now, it has come to light (i.e. Mr Apicella told the story to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera) that in June 2011 – the sex trial was already under way, Berlusconi had been indicted a few months before, the list of witnesses was disclosed in April 2011 – a real estate agent called “Dueville” bought an unpretentious apartment in the district Cecchina, in the small town of Albano Laziale from Mariano Apicella, at the price of €280,000 (£226,000). The owner of Dueville Immobiliare is Berlusconi's Dolcedrago (40 per cent) and two other companies linked to Berlusconi's Fininvest (60 per cent).

The Parthenopean minstrel said that Silvio Berlusconi was a person who deals with loads of money and who, open-handedly, wanted to “help me out.” And asked: “Is it forbidden to do a favour for a friend?".

The straightforward answer might be “no”, it is not forbidden to do any lawful favour to friends, but in case of witnesses in a criminal trial, well... the interpretation could be slightly different.

* Silvio Berlusconi is a fervent lyrics writer, he is also co-author with Mariarosaria Rossi of the People of Freedom new anthem, "People of Freedom"

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Silvio Berlusconi and the well prepared and serious politician

Sunday, October 14, 2012. Lombardy Regional Council's member and Berlusconi's favourite politician strips off for fashion and than declares “to be a politician there's no need to be prepared”.

Well done, Ms Councillor
Berlusconi met Nicole Minetti when she treated him – as a dental hygienist – for a broken teeth, after he was hit by a small statuethrown by a protester in December 2009. Silvio made friends with Nicole – some says to such an extent that she dresses as a nun at Silvio's parties –, and in 2010 she turned up as a candidate for the Lombardy Council, lead by Berlusconi's stalwart Roberto Formigoni, and got the post (won the election).

When criticised for supporting a sexy youngster to be a councillor, Silvio Berlusconi answered – by interrupting a live show Italian TV La7 with a telephone call – that Nicole Minetti was a “well prepared and serious” person, that she should not be considered just a bimbo.

Well, the councillor Minetti doesn't seem to be bothered by the fact that anybody might think she's not “prepared” for the politician's job, in fact she declared on a Berlusconi-owned Canale5 TV show that “to be a politician you do not need to be prepared” at all.

Some of the questions put to Nicole Minetti by former CNN journalist (now an 
anchorman at Mediaset's Canale 5) Alessio Vinci were raised by the fact that the councillor – a couple of weeks before the interview – took part to a fashion show in Milan, were she showed herself scantily clad (of course, it was a beachwear show by Parah!).

When asked whether politics and fashion could be reconciled, she answered that in fact “politics must support fashion”.

Oddly enough, many asked for Nicole Minetti to resign, but she has several times declared that Angelino Alfano, her boss, never phoned her on the subject (even though some of the PdL – People of Freedom Party – women already solicited Alfano to do so, even by tweeting ti him).

One thing is for sure: five (update: 14 out of 85) members of Lombardy Council have already been arrested, on bribing, embezzlement and/or mafia links charges, fashion might be a more secure job sector nowadays in Italy.

What do Italian think of the whole story? Well, some of them just reckon that Nicole should strip off more...

Nicole Minetti bikini
The councillor Nicole Minetti at work