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Gaffes help and hinder Italy's Berlusconi

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 01:35

Feb. 15 - Silvio Berlusconi's particular sense of humour has delighted and offended world over, often overshadowing his political ambition. Sarah Sheffer reports.

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Sex and finance scandals aside, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's distinctive sense of humour often lands him in trouble. But the unabashed politician's ambitions are not over yet, as he sets to run again for the Italian premiership. In 2009, Berlusconi bellowed his name while posing for a G20 summit photo, prompting irritation from Britain's Queen Elizabeth. Video of the incident quickly became a YouTube hit. Berlusconi has been mired in scandal throughout his tenure with a string of sex scandals and corruption accusations. Crisis reached new heights in 2010 when it emerged Berlusconi had called a Milan police station to ask for the release of a 17-year old nightclub dancer held for theft. The girl, known by the stage name of Ruby, said she was paid to attend his so-called "bunga bunga" parties, sparking rumours of an affair. His attempts to defuse the controversy did little to improve the situation. "I have always worked with no interruption and if I sometimes see a beautiful girl, I say, better to like girls than to be gay," he said. Despite the gaffes, Berlusconi's personal charisma has also won him adoration among his supporters and a landslide victory in the 2008 election.

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Gaffes help and hinder Italy's Berlusconi

Friday, February 15, 2013 - 01:35

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