By JR on Thursday, November 10, 2011
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly set to resign after passing financial reforms promised to EU. I will miss his "gaffes"
ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has become the biggest victim yet of Europe's economic crisis after surviving a career-killing run of gaffes and raunchy sex scandals.
The 75-year-old billionaire, who has led Italy for half of the past 17 years, is the longest serving Italian leader since Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
He has been dogged by allegations of bribery and corruption and currently faces three criminal trials - including paying for sex with an underage prostitute and nightclub belly dancer known as Ruby the Heart-Stealer.
He promoted several long-legged beauties to high political positions and has been accused by critics of tainting Italy's image abroad. He recently admitted he was "no saint". Without him, there would be no "Bunga bunga".
Here are the top Berlsuconi gaffes:
1. In 2003, Berlusconi asks US investors to relocate to Italy because Italian secretaries are better looking than US ones. "Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries... superb girls."
2. The same year he refers to German MEP Martin Schulz as a concentration camp guard.
"I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps - I shall put you forward for the role of Kapo (a guard chosen from among the prisoners) - you would be perfect."
3. Italy suffered its biggest earthquake in 30 years in 2009, leaving 17,000 people homeless. On a tour of the tent sites around the quake site, Berlusconi said the victims should see it as a camping trip: "Of course their current lodgings are a bit temporary but they should see it like a weekend of camping."
4. Berlusconi misses a Nato ceremony for fallen soldiers the same year because he was too busy talking on his mobile.
5. At the G20 photo shoot in London in 2009 he yells at US President Barack Obama, earning a rebuke from the Queen: "What is it? Why does he have to shout so loud?"
6. Still with Obama at the G20. Berlusconi tells the world his response to the global economic crisis differs from the president's because "I'm paler". "I’m paler because it's been so long since I went sunbathing. He's more handsome, younger and taller." The year before he calss Obama "handsome, young and also suntanned".
7. In 2006 he manages to offend China: "Read the black book of Communism and you will discover that in the China of Mao, they did not eat children, but had them boiled to fertilise the fields."
8. The year before it was the turn of the Fins. Berlusconi said he had to “dust off my playboy charms” to convince Finland’s female PM to set up the EU Food Safety Authority in Parma.
9. Just last week Berlusconi defied the world'as opinion 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 aeroplanes, 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."
10. A wiretap catches Berlusconi bragging about his male prowess. He says he was "doing only eight girls, because I couldn’t do more".