Tag Archives: Berlusconi

Current Event Cat of the Day: Berlusconi’s Expulsion

Current EVent Cat - Senate Expels Berlusconi

The Italian Senate has voted to expel former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his tax fraud conviction. It’s about time…

Today ends Silvio Berlusiconi’s 19-year assault on Italian politics – or at least in theory. The former Italian Prime Minister and current leader of his Forza Italia party was expelled from parliament and could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his beloved immunity from prosecution.

The Senate voted 192 to 113 to strip the 77-year-old billionaire of his seat, following a three-month debate that began after an Italian court upheld Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction and four-year prison term. The tax fraud conviction stems from his Mediaset empire’s purchase of television rights to U.S. films, but Berlusconi has also been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute at one of his infamous Bunga Bunga parties and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap.

The former PM will only have to serve a one-year sentence (for the tax fraud charge), and most likely under house arrest or by doing community service because of his old age. Nevertheless, Berlusconi is not taking the news of his expulsion well.

Claiming he didn’t receive a fair trial and that the judges were out to “eliminate” him, Berlusconi told supporters gathered outside his Rome residence that “no political leader has suffered a persecution such as I have lived through.”

“It is a bitter day, a day of mourning,” Berlusconi declared.

Despite being kicked out of parliament, Berlusconi still wields a lot of influence as the head of the Forza Italia party and will likely remain a problematic opponent for the government. As James Walston, a professor of international relations at American University of Rome, said “He is not out of politics, he is out of government.” 

Via: BBC News

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Silvio Berlusconi Sentenced to One Year in Jail / Italians Aren’t Great at Choosing Leaders

Berlusconi

Italy’s former Prime Minister and resident sleazebag Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted and sentenced to a year in jail for publicizing a recording of a confidential phone call related to a 2005 banking scandal.

Berlusconi is accused of arranging for a police wiretap concerning a political rival to be leaked and published in a newspaper run by his brother. However, the 76-year-old media billionaire is likely to appeal and under Italian law, he won’t have to serve any time until all appeal trials are completed. It’s pretty unlikely that Berlusconi will actually serve jail time over the wiretap case, but the conviction will damage his already less-than-stellar reputation.

Speaking of his not-so-great reputation, Berlusconi is also facing two other trials for accusations of alleged tax fraud and sex with an underage prostitute. Over the years Berlusconi has also been accused of charges including accounting fraud, perjury, bribery, corruption, having unlawful sex with a minor, and fraud over the sale of film rights.

Which brings us to the question: how the hell does this guy keep getting votes?

After resigning in November 2011 amid allegations of criminal activity (see above…), Berlusconi decided to run for prime minister for a fourth (and final?) time. During the elections last week, Italian voters somehow managed to their notoriously corrupt former primer minister another shot. The results turned out better than expected for Berlusconi, leader of the center-right People of Freedom (thanks to his usual round-the-clock media coverage and promises of tax refunds).

Berlusconi won 125 seats out of 630 in the lower house of Parliament and 30 percent of the seats in the Senate. Although his centre-right coalition only finished third in the parliamentary elections, it was a tight race that saw no clear winner.

But if you compare this with his 2008 results, he lost more than 6 million votes or about 50 percent. Is Berlusconi’s political persona slowly fading after years of scandals? Maybe this will be the last run for the 76-year-old. He has to get back to his bunga bunga parties anyway…

Via: Reuters 

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