ROME, June 4 Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi said on Thursday that articles in Britain's The Times
newspaper attacking his government were due to a dispute with
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWSA.O) over higher VAT on pay TV.
In an editorial entitled "The Clown's Mask Slips" on Monday,
The Times slammed Berlusconi for alleged womanising and
inappropriate behaviour after a scandal in Italy over his
relationship with an aspiring teenage model, which prompted his
wife to demand a divorce.
"I don't mean to be nasty but unfortunately with the episode
on VAT for Sky there was a breakdown in relations with the Sky
group and with Murdoch's group, which has published a series of
very critical articles attacking me," Berlusconi said on the
Canale 5 TV channel, which he owns.