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Silvio Berlusconi Versus La Repubblica

Italy’s tanned media tycoon and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is not at all happy with Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Mr Blameless
Mr Blameless

La Repubblica, which forms part of the L’Espresso group, is gleefully digging up the dirt on Berlusconi related goings on, and has challenged Berlusconi to answer 10 questions concerning his curious relationship with wannabe showgirl or politician from Naples, Noemi Letizia.

Then, right in the midst of all the goings on surrounding Silvio Berlusconi’s surprise appearance at Noemi’s 18th birthday party, plus the announcement by his estranged wife Veronica Lario that she wants a divorce from Berlusconi comes the verdict in the Mills corruption case, which clearly insinuates that Silvio Berlusconi is guilty of corruption.  Indeed, without a law which was passed to guarantee him immunity from prosecution while he is in public office, Berlusconi would, in the first instance, have been found guilty of corruption.

Of course Silvio Berlusconi, as usual, hotly denies any skulduggery.

The Scum of Italy – Judges and Journalists

In Berlusconi’s eyes, he never did bribe English lawyer Mills to tell lies during another court case in which Italy’s political media magnate was involved.  Instead, Berlusconi is resorting to his age old retort that Italy’s judges have got it in for him, and the implied guilty verdict is nothing more than a plot to bring him down.  The Noemi case is also, in Berlusconi’s opinion, another plot to cause his downfall, only this time it is being engineered by that dastardly group of scoundrels which goes by the name of journalists.  More specifically, journalists from left leaning Italian L’espresso newspaper group , which includes the La Repubblica paper.

Both judges and journalists are considered as being the lowest of the low by Berlusconi at present.  And he is pulling out all the stops to remove the tarnish from his tanned image.  In Italy recently we’ve seen Berlusconi with family photographs to reinforce the family man image, and thus dispel the insinuation by the man’s wife that he has been frequenting minors.

Berlusconi is also claiming that all the press interest constitutes an invasion of his privacy.

Then, whenever he makes a public appearance, Berlusconi wastes no time in making unveiled attacks on Italy’s judges and journalists.  Meanwhile, La Repubblica has been reporting right left and centre on Silvio’s escapades, and reminding everyone as vociferously as it can that Berlusconi refuses to answer its 10 key questions.

La Repubblica Stirs Up the Mud

La Repubblica has interviewed Noemi’s ex-boyfriend, and from what this jilted chap said, it appears as though Noemi’s father was never Craxi’s chauffeur or had had anything to do with politics.  Actually, everything seems to have happened by pure chance, and started when Berlusconi disciple Emilio Fede, just happened to forget Noemi’s model book in Berlusconi’s house one evening.  Berlusca must have flicked through this book, liked what he saw, and given this nubile Italian babe a call.  There is more about this in the Guardian article entitled: You can tell how much trouble Berlusconi is in – even the Blairs are distancing themselves from him

One thing led to another, and Berlusconi invited Noemi, and friend Roberta, both 17 at the time, to a New Year’s party at Berlusconi’s luxurious villa in Sardinia.  What exactly happened at this party is not too clear, although stories of topless girls frolicking have appeared in, yes, you guessed it, La Repubblica.  Then there are the photos.

Wandering around at Berluconi’s New Year’s bash was a paparazzo, camera in hand.  This photographer fired off many shots, some of which may have been a little compromising, for the images have been sequestrated.

Berlusconi has reiterated that there was nothing ‘spicy’ going on between Noemi and himself.

The Times Online does not believe that the Noemi affair is so insignificant, and in an editorial, also referred to by La Repubblica, with the title – The Clown’s Mask Slips – it does not mince its words, stating “What is most shocking is the utter contempt with which he treats the Italian public.”.  Berlusconi, of course, would not see it this way, but then, he never does.

The Big Brother Connection!

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One of the residents of Italy’s equivalent of the reality show Big Brother, known as Grande Fratello, apparently claimed to have had a ‘relationship’ with Silvio Berlusconi.  The L’espresso newsmagazine, which is owned by the same group as La Repubblica, followed up this potentially spicy revelation, and, according to Berlusconi friendly Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, offered this young lady, who goes by the name of Laura Drezwycka, some 50 thousand Euro to tell all.

That a cash offer was made is being strongly denied by L’espresso and La Repubblica, which has said that conversations between its journalists and Laura Drezwycka were recorded.

As a result of the Il Giornale accusations, the L’espresso group has stated that it is considering suing Il Giornale for defamation:  Attacco a “L’espresso” – in Italian

Air Berlusconi

As is the way in politics, others have been weighing into the brawl in an attempt to bring down Berlusconi.  The latest participant appears to be Italian Values party leader Antonio Di Pietro, who tried to bring about a no-confidence vote against the Berlusconi government, and is now asking awkward questions with regard to Berlusconi’s use of official planes.  Obviously, Di Pietro has been reading all about the scandal revealed by English newspaper The Telegraph concerning all the creative expenses claims being made by English members of parliament.

Apparently, Berlusconi has used state funded flights to take people over to his Sardinian party palace, as well as to drop in on Formula 1 races.

It has been noted in Italy that whereas the expenses claim revelations have led to the resignations of various members of the English parliament, the potentially more serious allegations and truth twisting by Italy’s most senior politician do not seem to have had any consequences whatsoever for Berlusconi’s government.

Embarrassment in Bari

The photograph you will see if you click on this:  Anti-Berlusconi Demonstration in Bari yesterday – is part of a section showing displeased Italians demonstrating during Berlusconi’s attendance at a function in Bari in the south of Italy.  The words on the banner in the photograph state, that the world is laughing at Italy, and it’s Berlusconi’s fault.

My Small Contribution

Yes, I’ve been doing some digging too.  And I’ve found something a little curious with regard to Berlusconi.  However, I cannot reveal anything until I’ve got my facts sorted out, but those who know where to look could easily find the same information as I have, after asking a question and doing some hunting around the cobweb laden Italian corners of the world wide web.  On the other hand, should any journalists out there wish to know more, they can contact me to see whether what I’ve found out is anything more than a mere curiosity.

Funnily enough, it is a old article in La Repubblica which may hold the key to this curiosity.

I’ll happily accept a couple of beers and/or a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens in return for sharing this mini-scoopino. ;)

Enemies Waiting to Strike

Berlusconi has faced numerous charges in Italian courts over the years, and has either been absolved or managed to string things out long enough to ensure that Italy’s time barring laws come into effect.  Some people must be displeased at Berlusconi’s slipperiness, and it is likely that he has made more than a few enemies.  Enemies who have been waiting for just the right time to stick their knives in, and then collectively twist them.  Carlo De Benedetti who controls the L’espresso publishing group, which includes La Repubblica, just happens to be one of Berlusconi’s enemies.  Intriguing, is it not?

The claims and counter claims are flowing back and forth; Berlusconi is pulling out all the stops, and contradicting himself; and La Repubblica, and sister news magazine, L’espresso, are selling zillions of copies!

What is also interesting, though, is that there is the possibility that the media which contributed in great part to Berlusconi’s rise to wealth and power may well be instrummental in his downfall.  Two old sayings spring to mind: ‘those who live by the sword, die by it’, and ‘to be hoisted with one’s own petard’!

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