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Berlusconi Bounces from Office, Entering Unprotected Sea of ScandalsTim King Salem-News.com
"An unflappable and defiant politician who has accumulated a collection of criminal charges for which he hasn't been held accountable so far" - Salem-News.com writer Kourosh Ziabari
(SALEM) - After nearly two-decades in office, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned from the post of Italy's prime minister reluctantly Saturday.
His political career; marked by opposition and occasionally even defeat, finally grinds to a screeching halt.
The right-wing entertainment industry mogul may be known for making big comebacks, but no one expects one this time.
He is known by the nickname Il Cavaliere (literally, The Knight), due to the knighthood of the Order of Merit for Labour he received in 1977, and therein lies an inherent, disparaging conflict, as he is charged with paying to have sex with an underage prostitute and a long list of other sundry accusations which his political office has, but no longer can, protect and shield him from.
Wikipedia reviews much of his turbulent past:
NATO Attack on Libya
For some, his role in the NATO decision to attack Libya and kill as many as 30,000 civilian collateral victims, was nothing short of perverse, knowing how Italy plundered and occupied Libya almost exactly one hundred years ago, sending its populace on a course with disastrous results.
Muammar Gaddafi was connected to the people who followed Omar Mukhtar's legendary leadership during two decades of armed Libyan resistance against the remaining vestiges of the Roman Empire. Libya was Italy's attempt to catch up with the 19th and 20th Century colonizing ambitions of western countries.
In April, Moammar Gaddafi told Russia's RIANOVOSTI, "Italy insists on repeating the crimes of 1911, in keeping with the same colonialist policy. This is the violent face of Italy. My friend Berlusconi and the Italian parliament are committing a crime," Gaddafi said.
Yes, they had been friends. That in retrospect might have been Gaddafi's biggest problem; he never seemed to know who he should and should not admire and spend time with. Just as he courted and obliged Israel and the United States, Gaddafi's loyalties were spread thin. However before it was over, he clearly was able to conclude that Italy was acting shamefully in not advocating for a country it once tried to eradicate a population.
Gaddafi said in the same article, "We are already in a war with Italy since Italians kill our children in 2011 as they did in 1911, that is why I cannot forbid Libyans to defend their lives and carry the military actions on the enemy's territory."
Libya was an Italian colony from the outbreak of hostilities in 1911, to 1941. With respect to decades of occupation and injustice, Berlusconin signed a so-called Friendship Treaty with Gaddafi in 2008, involving Italy's payment of 5 billion euro in reparations to Libya for its colonial rule. In late February Italy suspended the Friendship Treaty. I have written about Italy's occupation of Libya in detail, see the article: The Lion of Libya: Omar Mukhtar, Launched Resistance of Italy's Colonial Invasion 100 Years Ago
It was last July when Reuters reported Berlusconi saying he was against NATO intervention in Libya but had to go along with it, an admission that exposed the fragility of the alliance trying to unseat Muammar Gaddafi. His country once committed a Genocide of epic proportions in Libya, building concentration camps long before Hitler. The idea of this formerly fascist country having a say in the NATO bombings would be similar to putting Germany in charge of military attacks on Today's Israel.
In typical fashion with controversial world leaders, Berlusconi was the subject of much criticism for what many viewed as his dominance over the Italian media while holding political office. Kourosh Ziabari, Salem-News.com writer in Iran, wrote about the former Italian PM in the article, Berlusconi: the Man of Scandals.
He described Berlusconi as an internationally renowned figure: but not for his good reputation as an upright and respectable statesman, rather as a notorious man who can be called one of the most corrupt politicians of the world in all terms.
An unflappable and defiant politician who has accumulated a collection of criminal charges for which he hasn't been held accountable so far, Berlusconi is approaching the first stages of punishment for several crimes he committed during his three terms of premiership in Italy.
Forbes magazine reported earlier this year that he is the 74th richest man in the world with a net worth of $9 billion. The third richest man in Italy, Berlusconi owns assets in television, newspapers, publishing, cinema, finance, banking, insurance and sports. He also owns Italy's largest publishing house, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Before entering the world of politics, he managed several successful business projects including Milano 2, a huge residential project of about 10,500 apartments. In 1978 he established his first media group Fininvest and earned up to €58.3 million through this enterprise. The list keeps going. Read Kourosh's article for a number of interesting details.
In a video message televised on Sunday, Berlusconi said he was pleased that the government had passed the budget vote in record time with more than 50 per cent of the reforms that were asked by the Eurozone, in a demonstration that Italy will and can fulfill the measures as needed by its European partners.
(Special thanks to al Jazeera)
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