‘Silvio Berlusconi should be in the Guinness Book of World Records’


From The Yale Review:

Silvio Berlusconi should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. He is the only prime minister in modern history to win that office a scant four months after forming a brand new political party as the vehicle for his political ambitions. (He christened the party Forza Italia! – Go, Italy! – a name inspired by A. C. Milan, the world-class soccer team he owns.) He also controls about half of Italy’s television networks, an asset which helps account for his three remarkable electoral victories.

The flamboyant Berlusconi can also claim another record: he is the first holder of such a high office ever to be publicly accused by his own wife of – and widely reported in the press as – having had sexual encounters with exotic dancers and teenaged girls. Or of holding bacchanalian feasts where scantily clad nymphs and former prime ministers were photographed cavorting in the nude on the grounds of one of his villas.

And if these credentials were not enough, no head of a democratic government has ever been officially accused of as many serious crimes as Berlusconi, including accounting fraud, bribery, tax evasion, perjury, embezzlement, illegal efforts to influence judges, and collusion with the Mafia.

“Magistrates as Vigilantes: The Italian Example”, Joseph LaPalombara, The Yale Review