There was a rather startling report in the Italian newspaper La Stampa today. Apparently Silvio Berlusconi’s massive wealth has fallen massively since 2000, meaning he is no longer one of the top ten richest people in Italy.
In 2000, Berlusconi was worth around €15 billion. Today, Silvio Berlusconi is worth €1.62 billion. That is a fall in Italy’s ex-prime minister’s wealth in under 12 years of around €13.4 billion.
The question I, and others, are asking is where on earth has all the money gone?
Silvio Berlusconi is known for his generosity, his love of nubile young women, and his multiple legal woes. While it has never been proved, it is suspected Berlusconi had been buying loyalty, especially when Italy’s parliament held confidence votes.
At least two individuals, including one close associate of Silvio Berlusconi, his supposed friend Marcello Dell’Utri, are being investigated in connection with alleged attempts to extort money from the media magnate turned politician.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
The bunga bunga case has also proved rather expensive for Silvio. One report says that in one year, Berlusconi paid out more than €250 million in legal fees and “maintenance” payments to the group of girls who participated in the now infamous bunga bunga soirées.
Assuming Berlusconi had been paying out €250 million over the last 11 years, in legal fees and support payments, he would have forked out around €3 billion. That still leaves a respectable €10 billion to play with, so where did all that go? Others will, no doubt, be curious to know.
Has Berlusconi siphoned off some off his wealth to offshore accounts to prepare for a rainy day? Who knows, but Italy’s financial police may begin asking questions.
The huge fall in Berlusconi’s wealth may be one reason why he is dithering over the question of his seeking re-election in 2013. Maybe he simply cannot afford it.
The article in the fall in Silvio Berlusconi’s wealth can be seen on La Stampa, in Italian, here.