The Millions of Berlusconi !
Silvio Berlusconi lavished millions of euros on a string of showgirls, actresses and female television presenters, bank records revealed on Thursday, as his country falls further into the economic mire and faces new austerity measures.
The Italian prime minister 74, gave nearly three million euros in cash as gifts to his female admirers and spent an additional 337,000 euros (£297,000) on jewellery which he handed out as presents, the bank details showed.
The revelations emerged the day after he presented a hastily cobbled together reform package to European leaders in Brussels which will hit ordinary Italians hard, with plans to make it easier for employees to be sacked and for the retirement age to be raised from 65 to 67.
Details of the transactions emerged from a probe by magistrates in Florence into Denis Verdini, a national coordinator of Mr Berlusconi’s ruling People of Freedom Party, who is being investigated for alleged corruption in the awarding of public works contracts.
The documents, obtained by La Repubblica newspaper, showed that between January 2007 and June 2008 the billionaire prime minister paid out 17 million euros to his friends and associates, including political allies, personal staff and his brother Paolo, who edits the right-wing Il Giornale newspaper.
Payments to glamorous young women amounted to 2.7 million euros of the total.
A series of photographs captured him smiling broadly at Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the prime minister of Denmark, and casting a lingering glance at her behind as she walked away from him. One Italian newspaper, La Stampa, called him “incorrigible”.
Source: The Telegraph