Silvio Berlusconi

Right now the nation’s brightest political minds are trapped in the recycled air of Budget lock up, sniffing out black holes and poring over numbers. Shuffling papers and press releases and pinning down wonks.

Berlusconi vs. Thomson
by: toryshepherd76

As they drift past the tables of quartered chicken sandwiches and party pies to congregate at the figurative water cooler, do you think they’re avidly discussing the ramifications of the wafer-thin surplus? Do you think the drip filter coffee-fed excitement is centred around cuts to foreign aid?

There’s a fair to middling chance that it’s not. While there is a rumour doing the rounds that there will indeed be something big in today’s Budget papers that wasn’t already detailed, the chances are that people are still chinwagging about the Craig Thomson affair.

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  • Fake Oakleys says:

    03:07pm | 13/07/12

    Hi there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to… Read more »

  • Gerard says:

    09:35pm | 09/05/12

    I’m not arguing anything about Gillard or Thomson. I’m pointing out that antman’s assertion that “nobody in Parliament has that power” doesn’t hold in practice. Read more »


The party’s over and the place is a mess.  A sober Mario Monti will be putting the house back into order, clearing the bottles away and scrubbing the carpet.

Ah yes, I can almost feel the emotion. Pic: Renee Nowytarger

Over the next few weeks he’ll probably still be finding knickers down the back of the couch and noticing disturbing stains on the ceiling.

Italy’s financial crisis forced Prime Minister Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi to step down - to save the country by delivering it into the safer hands of the credible economist “Super Mario” Monti, whom people have quickly dubbed the “anti-Berlusconi”.

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  • Said says:

    10:05am | 07/02/12

    From a jruono’s perspective, I’ve always found Gillard to be approachable but guarded in her answers. While interviewing her, one can’t help but notice the thought and consideration that goes into her answers. But I imagine that having a frank and open discussion with her about her personal life would… Read more »

  • Pebbles says:

    03:29pm | 23/11/11

    Wowza, prbeolm solved like it never happened. Read more »


I grew up idolising the greatest politician the world has ever seen.

Berlusconi - when he's not naked, he's crazy. Photo: AFP.

As a boy, I would sit, clutching sugary treats, as he performed all manner of administrative miracles.

He was the one who taught me about terrorism, the perils of cloning, the dangers of space travel and that CIA-style pencil-pushing can lead to muscular atrophy.

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  • fairsfair says:

    11:42am | 15/04/11

    Swannie would then break in with “its not a tumour”. He just doesn’t quite get it…. Read more »

  • Bikinis on Top says:

    08:20pm | 14/04/11

    The greatest politician of all time was Gough Whitlam who was closely followed by Ben Chifley. Berlusconi couldn’t even lead NSW ALP. Read more »


They called it Tangentopoli. ‘Tangenti’ is one of the Italian words for ‘bribes’, and Tangentopoli summed up the idea that Italian politics had become a game of Monopoly fuelled by kickbacks.

A protester dressed as the Italian Prime Minister. Pic: AFP

I spent a lot of time in Italy in the 90s, starting with a story for ‘Foreign Correspondent’ in April 1993. Tangentopoli had convulsed the country, with magistrates uncovering vast swathes of corruption involving most of the leading political figures of the previous three decades.

My first encounter with the new reality came in a town in Abruzzo called Chieti. It was a sort of magnified microcosm of Italy, because almost every councillor on the local government had been arrested for corruption.

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  • TCB 24 X7 says:

    08:30pm | 17/02/11

    gillard should tee up with him then. They would make a good couple, the fiery red head and the hot italian sausage. . Read more »

  • mary monica roche says:

    07:15pm | 17/02/11

    Silvio Berlusconi behaves like a rich businessman and covers up corruption like a politician. Silvio Burlesconi would be an ideal prime minister for any conservative party or liberal party anywhere on earth. Read more »


Just how stupid are those Italians? I mean, not only are they gullible – they’re really, really dumb.

Can't touch this. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi

I mean, take a politician like Silvio Berlusconi, who all us foreign journalists know to be sleazy and dishonest… And what do millions of voters do? They elect him. Not just once, mind you. Three times.

You heard me. In three elections Italians have voted for a prime minister who’s a charlatan or – even worse – a 21st Century incarnation of Benito Mussolini. In 2008 he even won an absolute majority in both houses of parliament.

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  • Francesca Disint says:

    01:48am | 13/05/11

    Dear Emma, thank you very much for your comment. I am an Italian 40-years-woman, who has spent 6 years of her life abroad (USA,UK,France,Germany). What you explain is exactly what I would do.Unfortunately we do not have much of a choice. We need a BIG CHANGE, which I do not… Read more »

  • Isabella says:

    07:51am | 15/11/10

    I’m Italian, I found this page and I began reading (and please forgive me my mistakes in grammar). I feel deep ashamed every single time I see that men on television, and not only because he represent our country even if he’s NOT a politician, but, as you said, a… Read more »


Italy seems as though it is in a perpetual state of political meltdown. Casually taking in news the average Australian, and indeed much of the Anglo world, is generally of the impression that Italy is a basketcase, but a friendly, charming and good looking basketcase nonetheless.

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi with deputy Gianfranco Fini

The miraculous Italy with its ability to survive and even thrive in this chaos is, after all, still one of the world’s largest eight economies, albeit strugling.

Now Italy is looking at the possibility of its President Silvio Berlusconi being ousted from office for the third time following a ruling by the high court that he could not be protected from prosecution.

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  • Nicholas James says:

    05:54pm | 11/10/09

    I enjoyed reading this. I find Italy’s socio-political dynamic very entertaining. @Leo Just one point; legalise, not legalize. Please. I really hate American spelling and I don’t think that we should allow it to infiltrate our mass media. Read more »

  • toorak tractor says:

    11:19am | 11/10/09

    Absolute shambles. They should try and take advantage of the mobile labor capital from Eastern Europe and Africa. The more Berlusconi, who looks after number one, controls the media the more power the dangerous NL and the extreme right could wield. The Left aren’t that much better, who couldn’t organise… Read more »


TWO years ago, Veronica Lario did something extraordinary.

Berlusconi, his former showgirl minister Mara Carfagna, centre, and a magazine featuring Noemi Letizia, who had extensive contact with the Italian PM.

After marrying the now Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 1990, the former actress had maintained a low profile; rarely seen in public and avoiding the sort of official functions wives of national leaders do.

But on January 31, 2007 that changed when she bizarrely wrote a letter to the editor calling on her husband to apologise.

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  • AFR says:

    01:17pm | 10/08/09

    On the subject of foreign news, you will find most countries’ major news bulletins/newspapers etc are focused primarily on their own country, whether it be Australia, UK, US, France - wherever. I mean, how many of us watch SBS news, as opposed to 9, 10, 7 and even ABC, who… Read more »

  • Eric says:

    01:06pm | 10/08/09

    Pat—I can only point out that your comment is a prime example of what you claim to oppose. Just an empty ad-hominem attack with no support. Read more »


Following this week’s bizarre events involving fake emails, conspiracies, counter-conspiracies and dead cats I began to ask the question: at what point do we turn into Italy?

After question time today I am of the firm belief we have a long way to go before coming near the Silvio Berlusconi gold standard of political scandal.

Here's to the greatest scandal man politics could hope for

The last question time of this crazy sitting threatened to further turn the screws of torture on Malcolm Turnbull with reports that he had seen the fugazi days earlier and was encouraging Godwin Grech to peddle it on the market. 

Then, only half and hour before question time another story emerges that Rudd had accepted $32,000 from John “The Don” Grant for legal fees.

Now we’re talking. This could go anywhere, we can only hope to hookers, drugs and the Mafia.

Question time begins, and Tony “no nose” Abbott asks the question: “So why’d he give you the moolah Kevin?”

Kevin: “Well you see old chap it was money from a fund raising dinner to raise cash for an anti-aircraft noise campaign.”

What kind of lame corruption is that?

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  • Vic says:

    09:48pm | 25/06/09

    Tony Abbott needs to stop sitting on his brain and start thinking before he and The Liberals keep ranting on with this rubbish. Reality is.. weather Turnbull went on Goblin Grench’s testimony or not his judgement was flawed and whats worse flawed before the whole of Australia. The Liberals need… Read more »


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