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Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

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Third-Party Descriptions

November 2011: "Indeed, Italy pulled back from the brink on Thursday as investors gained confidence that Mr. Berlusconi would be gone by Monday, replaced by Mr. Monti, an economist with an international reputation. That impression was underscored by the sight of Mr. Monti arriving at the Quirinal Palace on Thursday, where he met for two hours with Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, who is responsible for picking a new head of government."

October 2011: 'Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy upbraided Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on Sunday for failing to follow through on his promises of budget cuts and various economic changes. But Mr. Berlusconi, hobbled by an internal power struggle, managed to bring only a “letter of intent” to Brussels outlining plans to carry out the kind of economic changes that his counterparts want.'

February 2011: 'ROME — Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy has said he is laughing off his latest sex scandal, in which prosecutors are investigating whether he compensated a number of attractive young women, including a 17-year-old nicknamed “Ruby Heart-Stealer,” for sex.'

November 2010: 'An intriguing alliance: American diplomats in Rome reported in 2009 on what their Italian contacts described as an extraordinarily close relationship between Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian prime minister, and Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister and business magnate, including “lavish gifts,” lucrative energy contracts and a “shadowy” Russian-speaking Italian go-between. They wrote that Mr. Berlusconi “appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin” in Europe. The diplomats also noted that while Mr. Putin enjoyed supremacy over all other public figures in Russia, he was undermined by an unmanageable bureaucracy that often ignored his edicts.'

June 2008: "Opponents of the measure fear that countries with shorter detention periods will use the E.U. regulations to increase the amount of time they hold illegal immigrants. Italy, which has hardened its immigration policy under the new government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has already increased its detention times to the 18-month maximum in anticipation of approval of the new policy."

May 2006: The subject of his fictional but fact-based fare was the bleach-toothed crocodile himself, Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire (richest man in Italy) media and sports tycoon (he owns three national TV stations and the AC Milan soccer team) and former prime minister of Italy...A month after Moretti's film came out, Berlusconi and his right-center coalition were defeated by the slimmest of margins by the left-center, which just formed the new government headed by Romano Prodi.

August 2004: 'One-off measures like the building amnesty have been used by the Berlusconi government as a way to avoid badly needed structural reform of the labor market and pension system...One-offs work to get over a temporary situation, but Berlusconi has continued to use them while betting year after year on an economic recovery that hasn't materialized.'


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Succeeded by Prime Minister Romano Prodi Person May 30, 2006
Research/Analysis Subject Beppe Severgnini Person Nov 11, 2011

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Nov 10, 2011 Greece and Italy Seek a Solution From Technocrats

QUOTE: The question now, in both Italy and Greece, is whether the technocrats can succeed where elected leaders failed — whether pressure from the European Union backed by the whip of the financial markets will be enough to dislodge the entrenched cultures of political patronage that experts largely blame for the slow growth and financial crises that plague both countries.

New York Times
Oct 26, 2011 Europe Agrees to Basics of Plan to Resolve Euro Crisis

QUOTE: European leaders, in a significant step toward resolving the euro zone financial crisis, early Thursday morning obtained an agreement from banks to take a 50 percent loss on the face value of their Greek debt.

New York Times
Mar 30, 2011 Fleeing North Africa and Landing in an Italian Limbo

QUOTE: The Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini, criticized France for its “lack of solidarity” after it returned more than 500 immigrants to Italy after they were caught trying to cross the border into France... (The Northern League)... has long drawn on fears of illegal immigration. Asked... what should be done about the immigrants... Umberto Bossi, used a phrase that politely translates as “get them out of our faces.”

New York Times
Feb 02, 2011 Sex Scandals in Italy Fuel Discontent of Women

QUOTE: Italy significantly trails European Union counterparts on equality indicators like employment of women or women in leadership positions, and indignant women say the latest scandal [the Berlusconi sex scandal-Ed.] highlights a troubling message: the way for a woman to get ahead in Italy is to sell her soul, if not her body, to powerful men.

New York Times
Nov 28, 2010 Leaked Cables Offer Raw Look at U.S. Diplomacy

QUOTE: A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

New York Times
Oct 01, 2009 Muzzling the messengers: Italy and the free press (Part 1 of 3)

QUOTE: Not since Mussolini’s time has an Italian government’s interference with the media been more blatant or alarming.

Jun 19, 2008 E.U. Moves to Standardize Immigrant Policy: Illegal Residents Could Be Jailed for as Long as 18 Months Pending Deportation

QUOTE: The European Parliament approved new rules Wednesday designed to standardize the dramatic differences in member countries' treatment of illegal immigrants, whose presence is one of the most heated political issues in Europe today.

Washington Post
Feb 21, 2007 Europe's rising unease over 'terror war': Charges in Italy against suspected CIA agents highlight growing dissent on America's antiterror tactics.

QUOTE: In part, experts say, legal and vocal frustration in Europe over US policies have been sparked both by the length and ambiguity of the terror war, as well as the possible scale of the renditions-flights program of kidnapped suspects. An EU report issued last week in Brussels that condemns covert activity suggests "at least" 1,245 such flights in EU states occurred since 2001. It also suggests complicity between individual states and the US.

Christian Science Monitor
May 26, 2006 If Michael Moore Helped Tip an Election, He'd Be Nanni Moretti

QUOTE: If you ask me why nobody ever made a movie about [Silvio Berlusconi], I have reasons for that. The first one is that the Italian reality is so amazing it is hard for the imagination to follow it. A second reason is if you want to make a movie, the funding comes from television, and in Italy it's either RAI or Berlusconi's channels, so they might not be interested in such a movie. And finally, I don't like to talk about censorship, but I think many directors or actors censor themselves.

Washington Post
Aug 31, 2004 Build Illegally on Italy's Land and Amnesty Law Will Come

QUOTE: It has become something of a tradition in Italy. You build it, illegally, anywhere from the Alps to Sicily, and the Italian government will come with a building amnesty that legalizes your extra story, beach cottage or country villa.

New York Times
Jun 18, 2003 Parliament in Italy Passes Immunity Law for Berlusconi

QUOTE: Critics say the laws are tailor-made to help Mr. Berlusconi, who is Italy's wealthiest man, elude prosecution for questionable business deals made before he took office.

New York Times
Aug 08, 2001 Police Use of Force in Genoa Raises Outcry Weeks Later

QUOTE: ...92 young people were dragged from their beds by squads of Italian anti-riot police officers who beat and jailed them.

New York Times