Oct 18

- Strange Liaisons? Putin Visits Berlusconi’s Home At 3am After Warning Merkel Of Gas Squeeze (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2014):

It appears Bunga-Bunga boy still has something to offer the international elite. After a lengthy meeting with Germany’s Angela Merkel (at a hotel in Milan) where Putin warned of “big transit risks” in delivery of Europe’s gas as Ukraine is “starting to siphon off our gas from the export pipeline,” and threatening to respond by “reducing flows by the amount stolen;” Putin decided the place to be was 78-year-old Berlusconi’s house at 3am. Finally, it is worth noting that Ukraine’s President Poroshenko was scheduled to meet with Frau Merkel this morning – we assume to plead his case for why gas transit should flow through his nation (and beg for some more support).

As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »

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May 15

- Geithner Confirms Mafia-Linked Berlusconi’s Forced Ouster, But Says US Did Not “Have Blood On Our Hands” (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2014):

Silvio Berlusconi – ironically nicknamed “The Teflon Don” – has been found to have done business with the Sicilian Mafia for nearly two decades, according to Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome. Having attacked the “biased judges” who called his actions “a continuous crime,” Berlusconi wriggled out from under this result since the link to the Cosa Nostra was, as The Independent reports, via his conduit and former senator Marcello Dell’Utri who was sentenced to 7 years for mafia association. While this confirms as fact yet another conspiracy theory, the bigger story was the confirmation of a broad-based bloodless coup to ouster the Italian Prime Minister at the peak of the credit crisis. “At one point that fall, a few European officials approached us with a scheme to try to force Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi out of power,” Tim Geithner writes in his new book, and after telling the President about “this surprising invitation,” they decided not to get involved (publicly): “We can’t have his blood on our hands.”

Conpsiracy “Fact” #1: Berlusconi linked to the Mafia

As The Independent reports,

Silvio Berlusconi – Italy’s former Prime Minister and one of the world’s most recognisable politicians – did business with the mafia for nearly two decades.

Continue reading »

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Nov 27

- Italy Senate expels three-time ex-Premier Berlusconi (USA Today/AP, Nov 27, 2013):

ROME  — The Italian Senate on Wednesday expelled three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi from Parliament over his tax fraud conviction, ending, for now, his two-decade legislative run but not his political career.

Berlusconi has warned that the unprecedented move would embarrass Italy internationally. He maintained his defiance as the Senate voted, declaring Wednesday a “day of mourning for democracy” before thousands of cheering, flag-waving supporters outside his Roman palazzo.

Even though Berlusconi won’t hold a seat in Parliament, he is expected to remain influential in Italian politics. He has relaunched his Forza Italia party and he still commands millions of loyal supporters.

Continue reading »

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Sep 30

- Meanwhile In Italy… (ZeroHedge, Sep 30, 2013):

UPDATE: Reuters reports that 20 senators from Berlusconi’s party are preparing to create new party if Berlusconi does not soften stance against PM Letta – EUR and Italian Bonds are ramping.

*AS MANY AS 20 BERLUSCONI SENATORS MAY LEAVE PDL: REUTERS

Via Bloomberg,

Berlusconi faces demands from his lawmakers to back down on confrontation with Letta, Reuters reports citing party official.

We can’t help but feel this is well-placed Reuters propaganda as we saw in 2011 – later to be denied but for now it is having the desired effect…

Before this we noted: Continue reading »

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Sep 29

- Berlusconi Has Last Laugh As Italy Scrambles To Contain Fallout From Government Collapse (ZeroHedge, Sep 29, 2013):

Following yesterday’s unexpected (if not shocking) news that ministers from Berlusconi’s PDL have resigned en masse in order to push for new elections, leading to the latest Italian government crisis (in a long and distinguished series), Italy’s premier Letta and president Napolitano are scrambling to preserve some stability, and not only they but moments ago Ansa reported that the management and supervisory boards of Italian megabank Intesa are set to meet at 6 pm, as not even the most optimistic see an easy way out of the political dead end Italy has found itself in now.

Continue reading »

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Jun 24

- Berlusconi Convicted In ‘Sex-With-Minor’ Case; Sentenced To 7 Years In Jail (ZeroHedge, June 24, 2013):

While appeals will be quick to come, the ‘Ruby’ trial has resulted in former PM Silvio Berlusconi being convicted in the ‘sex-with-minor’ case:

  • *MILAN COURT RULES ON BERLUSCONI’S SEX-WITH-MINOR TRIAL
  • *ITALY’S BERLUSCONI CONVICTED IN RUBY TRIAL
  • *BERLUSCONI CONVICTED ON ABUSE OF POWER IN MILAN TRIAL
  • *BERLUSCONI SENTENCED TO 7 YRS IN JAIL
  • *BERLUSCONI BARRED FROM PUBLIC OFFICE FOREVER: MILAN COURT
  • *ITALY’S BERLUSCONI CAN APPEAL CONVICTION

With the central bank backstop seemingly being removed, the impact on Italian politics is unclear (aside from increased uncertainty as his own party may splinter its support for the colaition) but for now his empire – MediaSet is halted down 5.2%…

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May 12

- Inside the Bunga Bunga room: First picture emerges of the location where Berlusconi held his infamous sex parties (Daily Mail, May 12, 2013)

Related info:

- Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 4 years in prison after tax fraud verdict upheld (CBS News, May 8, 2013)

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Mar 07

- Berlusconi Sentenced To One Year In Prison For Wiretapping (ZeroHedge, March 7, 2013):

It is no secret that one of the main reasons why Italy’s former PM, and resurgent soon to be member of government, Silvio Berlusconi, is so adamant to be in parliament, is simply to obtain the immunity he would need to stay out of prison as a result of countless lawsuits which he has valiantly fought, and lost. As of this morning, a rather convenient time for sure just as Italy is preparing to create a coalition government, Silvio has one more lawsuit he will need to appeal, and evade in Parliament, following news that he was convicted in a 2006 wiretapping scandal, and will have to serve a one year prison sentence. Will he serve even one day? Of course not – the appeals process alone will take at least several years, and when that runs out, well, the 76 year old Silvio is a billionaire, and will have ample opportunity to spend his money to buy himself enough freedom to last him until the end of his life.

From Bloomberg:

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was convicted in a wiretapping case related to the 2006 battle for control of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro SpA, the first of three corruption rulings he faces this month.

Continue reading »

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Feb 22

- European “Democracy” Full Frontal – EU Parliament Head Tells Italians Not To Vote For Silvio (ZeroHedge, Feb 21, 2013):

To say that Germany does not love Silvio Berlusconi would be an understatement. But not even we thought European “democracy” would stoop so low as to tell Italians not to bring Bunga back or else. As Reuters reports, the German president of the European Parliament, once compared to a Nazi concentration camp guard by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, warned Italians on Thursday not to back the scandal-ridden media tycoon at the ballot box. Martin Schulz is the latest in a line of German politicians to express fears about a possible Berlusconi comeback largely due to worries he will halt Rome’s reform drive that has helped to lift investor confidence in the euro zone. “Silvio Berlusconi has already sent Italy into a tailspin with irresponsible behavior in government and personal escapades,” Schulz was quoted as saying in German daily Bild.

Ironically, as today’s PMI data confirm, it is somewhat hypocritical of Germany to accuse Italy of anything since in the Zero-Sum mercantilist union, it is only Germany, now that France has careened off the cliff, that benefits from everyone else’s misfortune. The irony is that Germany should be rooting for Silvio - after all they need that EURUSD some 1000 pips lower to boost German exports, and when all hell breaks loose with Italian bond spread, Germany will simply inject another €500 billion in current account liquidity via Target2 (even if it means crushing PIMCO and their long Italy bond position). To pretend that anything in Europe at this moment is about solidarity is hypocrisy of the nth degree. Continue reading »

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Feb 16

- Berlusconi: “Bribes Are Necessary – They Are Not Crimes” (ZeroHedge, Feb 15, 2013):

With a week to go until the Italian elections, things are getting a little odd to say the least. The somewhat scandal prone Berlusconi, who self-declared himself leading in the polls just recently, has come out swinging in defense of his fellow business leaders’ ethical egressions. The Bunga party banner-man defends bribery, “These are not crimes,” he notes, as The FT reports, “bribes are a phenomenon that exists and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations…” This apparently on the heels of the Finmeccanica CEO’s Indian helicopter deal bribes and Monte Paschi’s derivative debacle. It would appear his argument lies somewhere betweeen, ‘if everyone’s doing it – then it’s ok’, and ‘everyone’s been doing it forever so why stop now?’ One Italian paper, though, disgusted at the state of their nation, describes the entire political and elite establishment of ‘guilty inertia’ - calling for an end to what Berlusconi appears to be saying is corrupt business-as-usual. And yet we are to trust these technocrats when they say ‘crisis over’, all is well, recovery is here? Continue reading »

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Jan 26

You can’t make this stuff up!


- Italian Scandal Widens As Italy’s Third Largest Bank Set To Get Third Bailout In 3 Years; Draghi, Monti Implicated (ZeroHedge, Jan 26, 2013):

While little has been said in the mainstream western press about the ongoing fiasco surrounding Siena’s Banca Monte dei Pasci, Italy’s third largest bank and the world’s oldest which may get its third bailout in three years - or even be nationalized – as soon as today, for fears that it may break the thin veneer of “recovery” in the European financial system, the situation on the ground in Italy is getting more serious by the minute, and will have implications on both next month’s general election, on Mario Monti, on Silvio Berlusconi, on frontrunner for the Prime Minister post Pier Luigi Bersani, and reach as far up as the head of the ECB – Mario Draghi.Several hours ago, on Saturday morning, the four-member board of the Bank of Italy – this time without its prior president Mario Draghi – met to consider the position of scandal-hit bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and decide whether to authorize its request for 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of state loans.

Continue reading »

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Dec 19

Got gold and silver to preserve your wealth in case of a necessary currency reform and devaluation?


- Berlusconi: “Italy May Be Forced To Leave The Eurozone And Return To The Lira” (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2012):

Reminding the world of just the kind of truthiness that got him sacked originally by that other Italian, the Ex-Goldmanite Mario Draghi, back in November 2011, and which the world has to look forward to when Silvio Berlusconi returns to power some time in 2013, even if not as PM (a position he currently has a snowball’s chance in hell of regaining based on current political polls), Reuters informs us that the Italian, who certainly has not read the Goldman book on status quo perpetuation, just said the unimaginable: the truth. To wit: “If Germany doesn’t accept that the ECB must be a real central bank, if interest rates don’t come down, we will be forced to leave the euro and return to our own currency in order to be competitive.” Berlusconi said in comments reported by Italian news agencies Ansa and Agi. The 76-year-old media tycoon has made similar remarks in the past about the possibility of Italy, or even Germany, leaving the euro, but has often at least partially rectified them later.” Not this time. Now with Germany and the Buba folding like a broken chair, Silvio is coming back and knows he can demand anything and everything, and Germany has no choice but to accept, Merkel reelection in a few months be damned.

Perhaps the former PM who recently got engaged to this 28 year old girl who obviously loves him for his personality has read our little primer on what happens in a Europe in which external devaluation (i.e., FX) is not a possibility, and where another 30-50% drop in PIIGS salaries would be neccesary to restore competitiveness. That, or a return to the Lira of course. And Berlusconi has seen that in the duel between Greece and Germany so far the former (and specifically its creditors) have gotten all the advantage. It is only a matter of time before he parlays that negotiating approach to Italy as well, and in the process destabilizes whatever artificial balance the ECB may have created.

More from Reuters: Continue reading »

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Dec 10

- Italian PM Monti quits as Berlusconi withdraws support (Irish Examiner, Dec 9, 2012):

Prime minister Mario Monti has told Italy’s president he is resigning because he can no longer govern after Silvio Berlusconi’s party withdrew crucial support.

The move paves the way for early elections a year after the unelected economist helped pull the country back from the brink of financial disaster.

Only hours earlier, 76-year-old billionaire media baron Mr Berlusconi had announced he would run for a fourth term as premier, aiming for a dramatic comeback after he quit in disgrace last November.

Continue reading »

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Oct 27

- As Thousands Of Italians March Against Austerity On “No Monti Day”, Berlusconi Threatens To Scuttle Monti Government (ZeroHedge, Oct 27, 2012):

First, it was Greece who failed to stick with the “do not rock the boat until the US election” script so meticulously crafted by Tim Geithner, and now it is Italy’s turn as Europe threatens to come unhinged precisely in the week when complete peace and quiet is needed to avoid deflecting attention from the peak season of the US presidential theater. As Reuters reports, “Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a “No Monti Day” on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government. Appointed in November when Italy risked being sucked into the euro zone debt crisis, Monti has pushed through painful austerity measures to cut the country’s massive debt, including tax hikes, spending cuts and a pension overhaul. “We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care,” said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi… In another demonstration in northern Italy, a small group of protesters scuffled with police near where Monti was addressing a rally on the theme of family values.” Continue reading »

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Oct 26

- Bunga Behind Bars: Court Sentences Berlusconi To 4 Years In Prison (ZeroHedge, Oct 26, 2012):

It seems Berlusconi’s recent comments on not running for office were very prescient as he has just been slapped with a four year jail sentence for tax fraud and banned from politics for five years:

  • *EX-PREMIER BERLUSCONI GUILTY OF TAX FRAUD IN TV RIGHTS TRIAL
  • *ITALY EX-PREMIER BERLUSCONI SENTENCED 4 YEARS BY MILAN COURT
  • *MILAN COURT BARS BERLUSCONI FROM POLITICS FOR 5 YEARS    :MS IM

Bunga Bugga? We do note the farce of all this as DPA notes: Berlusconi will not serve his sentence if he appeals against the first instance judgement.

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Sep 08

- Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘James Bond-style’ underground cave (Telegraph, Sep 7, 2012):

Silvio Berlusconi’s summer retreat on Sardinia’s exclusive Costa Smeralda, which gained notoriety for parties with topless models, features an underground cave, complete with an emergency escape exit to the sea.

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Aug 06

- Quarto Reich: Italy Goes “There” Again (ZeroHedge, Aug 6, 2012):

Just because Italy’s 2 Year bond yield has plunged, bringing its cost of short term funding to manageable levels, if only for a day or two, it is suddenly “obvious” that it will not need Germany’s goodwill ever again. Sure enough…

The Daily Mail explains:

An Italian newspaper owned by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has caused controversy by printing a front page headline which said ‘Fourth Reich’ above a picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Continue reading »

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Jul 11

- Bunga Is Back: Berlusconi To Run In 2013 (ZeroHedge, July 11, 2012):

Back in November 2011, when Silvio was forced out of his PM position with a combination of plunging Italian bonds and strong globalist pressure in an attempt to restore confidence in the Italian economy and administration, and was replaced with a Goldman-affiliated technocrat, we said that it is only a matter of time before Monti fails in his task of turning the Italian economy around, and revisionist power vacuum forces put Silvio right back in his throne. Sure enough, Corriere writes that the man whoe made the term Bunga Bunga legendary may run for premier next year. Specifically, the ex-prime minister may seek top job in a “ticket” together with his party’s current leader Angelino Alfano, quoting him as saying that this is “A choice that I didn’t want to make.” Berlusconi’s PDL party could garner 30% of vote in next election if the ex-premier seeks top job, Corriere says, without elaborating. Of course, what guaranteed that he would run was his statement last year that he would not run in the next election, making this outcome a foregone conclusion. And the funny thing is that he just may win.

From Corriere:

He has spent the last few weeks to study the surveys, to analyze the scenarios for the vote in 2013, listening to the PDL leaders, entrepreneurs and international representatives. But ultimately the decision is made: be standing for re-election as premier.

The role of noble father does not heat his constituents who ask a more direct engagement, the engagement she had ruled at the time of the investiture of Angelino Alfano as secretary of the PDL. The latest polls, arrived on his desk, some data have shown that, according to Knight, one can not ignore. Three scenarios submitted to respondents: a PDL without Berlusconi would not reach 10% of the votes and the nomination of the premiership Alfano, Berlusconi in the field as party chairman, would lead to a result around 18%. If, however, Berlusconi was still in the running for the presidency of the Council, in a ticket with Alfano and a team of young executives, the polls would arrive, according to surveys, including a 30%. A result that might not be enough to win the leadership of the country but would give the Knight and his party a decisive role in the next term, especially if you come to a coalition government called upon to continue the path of fiscal consolidation and exit from economic crisis.

Continue reading »

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Nov 09

- Berlusconi’s gaffes, quips and pranks (Reuters, Nov 9, 2011):

Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has announced that he will step down after a new stability package is approved in parliament, has a sense of humor that often lands him in trouble. Here are some of his memorable quotes. NOV 2011: Berlusconi comments on the state of Italy’s economy. “Life in Italy is life in a prosperous country. We see that on every occasion, consumption has not gone down, the restaurants are full, you have trouble booking seats on airplanes, holiday areas are totally booked out on long weekends. I don’t think that if you went to live in Italy that Italy is feeling anything that could resemble a serious crisis.”

OCT 2011: In remarks to party deputies in parliament, Berlusconi suggests his ruling PDL party should rename itself “Forza Gnocca!,” a play on the name of his original Forza Italia! (Go Italy!) party, using a slang term for female genitals.

SEPT 2011: In widely reported wiretapped conversations, Berlusconi brags of fending off a line of young women outside his door and “doing only eight girls, because I couldn’t do more.”

Continue reading »

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Nov 09

- Silvio Berlusconi compares himself to Benito Mussolini (Telegraph, , Nov. 9, 2011):

Silvio Berlusconi has compared himself to Benito Mussolini, saying that he lacked power and has been reduced to making “suggestions” rather than ruling.

The outgoing prime minister, in an interview with Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, said: “I am tired of not being able to dictate the line or be able to do the politics I want to do. I feel more powerful as a free citizen than as prime minister.”

The 75-year-old premier, who has announced he will resign by the end of the month under intense pressure from the markets, said he was reading a book of letters written by Fascist dictator Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci.

“At a certain point he says: ‘But don’t you understand that I don’t count for anything anymore, I can only make suggestions’,” Mr Berlusconi said, adding: “I have felt in the same situation.”

When pushed by La Stampa on the similarities between his rule and the Fascist dictatorship, Mr Berlusconi said: “Of course, I’m not a dictator, even if you have written as much over the years.”

“But the fathers of our constitution, for fear of history repeating itself, have excessively weakened the executive.”

Mr Berlusconi announced his intention to resign following a shock parliamentary revolt on Tuesday and fears in the eurozone that Italy could be the next victim of the debt crisis.

The colourful tycoon said he will not run for office in the next election and said he felt “liberated” by the decision.

In September 2004, Mr Berlusconi, in one of his trademark gaffes, told Britain’s Spectator magazine: “Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini sent people on holiday in (internal) exile”, adding that he agreed with the thought that the Second World War dictator was “benign”.

- Berlusconi betrayed by his own hand (New Zealand Herald, Nov 10, 2011)

Opponents within his own party would have been relieved at his decision to quit after another photograph showed him with a list of “traitors” who had told him they would not back him in the budget vote.


Silvio Berlusconi with a note in Parliament. It reads: ‘308, -8 traitors; Government upturn; Vote; Take note; Resignation; Italian President; One solution; Let’s move.’ Photo / AP

- Scheidender Premier Berlusconi vergleicht sich mit Diktator Mussolini (Spiegel, Nov. 9, 2011):

Silvio Berlusconis politische Karriere mag zu Ende gehen, doch er tritt weiter in jedes Fettnäpfchen. In einem Zeitungsinterview verglich sich Italiens Noch-Regierungschef nun mit dem Diktator Mussolini. Seltsam mutete auch eine “Verräter”-Liste an, die er im Parlament anlegte.

Continue reading »

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