Several protests against the Prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, are taking place in Italy.
TODAY -Thousands of women are protesting today in Milan in Piazza della Scala (watch the video – corriere.it). They are wearing a white scarf, a symbol of grief.
5/2 LIBERTY AND JUSTICE - On the 5th of February, the association “Liberty and Justice” – which collected 80.000 signatures for a petition for the resignation of Berlusconi – organises a day for the Constitution from 3 pm at Palasharp (via Sant’Elia, 33 – MM Lampugnano). Among the members of the association there are Umberto Eco, Gustavo Zagrebelsky, Paul Ginsborg and Roberto Saviano.
6/2 and 12/2 PURPLE PEOPLE – The so-called “Purple people”, a group that gathers people that are against Berlusconi across Italy and abroad, is organising a march towards Berlusconi’s villa in Arcore, to ask him once again to resign. The “purples” will do sits-in around the world with the slogan “Italy is not a Republic founded on prostitution”.
13/2 – On the 13th of February, all the groups – women, “purples” and others – will gather for sits-in and protests across Italy, in particular in Milan and Rome. On the same day, Berlusconi himself is organising a protest against those who are investigating on him.
Against that, three journalists – Barbara Spinelli, Michele Santorio and Marco Travaglio from tv programme “Annozero” – have organised a protest outside the Court of Justice in Milan.
A third underage girl at Berlusconi’s parties. The leader of the Democratic Party: “This is a weight no longer bearable”
THE GIRL – A third girl – after Noemi Letizia and Karima “Ruby” El Mahroug – was hanging around with Berlusconi when she was still uderage. This is the latest development of the Milan’s Prosecution Office investigation against Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi for juvenile prostitution and extortion.
The name of the girl is Iris Berardi, a brasilian born who attended Berlusconi’s parties when she was still 17 years old.
THE EVIDENCE IN THE PHONE TRACKING – The investigators found that Iris was at Berlusconi’s villas – in Arcore and Sardinia – on the 21st of November 2009 and on the 1th of December 2009, before her 18th birthday (which was on the 28th of December 2009). The evidence of this was found in the tracking of Iris mobile phone.
This new information is included in the new folder of documents – 227 pages – sent by the Prosecution’s Office to the Parliament. This folder is an integration of the 389 pages one sent last week.
THE REACTIONS – While the situation gets every day worse for Berlusconi, his main ally, the Northern League’s leader Umberto Bossi, said today that he will stay on the Prime minister’s side.
On the other hand, the leader of the Democratic Party Pierluigi Bersani commented the news saying that “The papers sent to the Parliament certify a situation that is unbearable (…) Who, even in the centre-right, cares about the common interests should persuade Berlusconi to step back and set the Country free from a weight no longer bearable”.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – In the meanwhile, the New York Times website is hosting a debate on why the Italians keep tolerating Berlusconi’s scandals.
The Prosecution’s Office will ask for the summary procedure against Berlusconi within ten days. The bishop’s conference: “There’s a moral unease in Italy”
The Prosecution’s Office have confirmed that it will forward to the magistrates within the next ten days the request of a summary procedure against Berlusconi for extortion and juvenile prostitution. This kind of procedure is usually followed when there are substantial proofs against the defendant.
Today, the prosecutors have also interrogated for the second time in a week Nadia Macrì, a call girl that claims to have seen Berlusconi giving 5 thousand euros to Ruby during a party in April 2010.
In the meanwhile, the president of the Italian bishop’s conference, cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, said that in Italy there is “an obvious moral unease” and the people look “frightened at the actors on the public scene”.
Sexgate, Berlusconi refuses to be interrogated. “This is the final battle, if I win I will stay until 2020″. A witness: “He gave Ruby 5 thousand euros”.
Berlusconi claims that this case does not compete the Milan Prosecutor’s Office, but that of Monza, a town near Milan.
Berlusconi declared that “This is the final battle (..) If I win, I will stay until 2020″. And added: “I will resign only in the case of an explicit vote of no confidence (…) According to the polls I still have the 50 % of preference”.
In the meanwhile, Nadia Macrì, a call girl, has been interrogated yesterday for five hours by the prosecutors, and said that during a party she saw Berlusconi giving Ruby, on the 24th of April 2010, an envelope with 5 thousand euros in it.
Berlusconi’s supporters form a new group among the Parliament: the “responsibles”. A Taiwanese tv broadcast a 3d movie about the “bunga-bunga”
They call themselves “the responsibles”: it is a brand new group of Italian MPs that has gathered together in the last week to support the Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, accused of underage prostitution and extortion.
The “responsibles” – 21 MPs – come from different parties (former Fli, Api, Noi-Sud, and even one former PD and one former IDV), and claim to “complete the success of the majority obtained with the vote of confidence the last 14th December, and in particular makes official among the center-right the existence of a “third leg” harmonic with the government and, most important, constructive and not conflictual with it”.
The group so far includes: Elio Belcastro, Pippo Gianni, Arturo Iannaccone, Antonio Milo, Michele Pisacane, Americo Porfidia, Antonio Razzi, Francesco Saverio Romano, Giuseppe Ruvolo e Luciano Mario Sardelli (‘Noi Sud-Pid’); Giampiero Catone, Silvano Moffa, Catia Polidori e Maria Grazia Siliquini (formerly Fli, Fini’s group); Francesco Pionati (Adc); Bruno Cesario (formerly Api); Massimo Calearo (formerly Pd); Domenico Scilipoti (formerly IDV, he also voted the confidence to Berlusconi on the 14th of December); Maurizio Grassano (formerly Northern League).
Even in the scandal, then, Berlusconi is still able to get support among the Parliament. And his main ally, Northern League’s Umberto Bossi, is getting more and more impatient to get the federalist reform approved. Today, the Cabinet of Ministers has decided to postpone of one week the decision of the reform. Many observers underlines that Bossi’s support to Berlusconi is strictly connected to the federalist reform, and if this won’t be approved, Bossi could easily withdraw his support to Berlusconi’s government, following a path similar to that of 1994, which ended the first Berlusconi’s government.
In the meantime, the Vatican and the opposition attacked Berlusconi again, asking him to explain the truth. The Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, said that “the Vatican is following with attention and particular concern what happens in Italy, fostering the awareness of a great responsibilty towards the families and the new generations (…) I believe that morality, justice and legality are crucial for a society that wants to grow and give positive answers to the problems of our time”.
The leader of the Democrats, Pierluigi Bersani, has fiercely attacked Berlusconi, asking again for his resignation: “We cannot minimise…the whole world is wondering how we can accept this”.
And the investigation goes on: today, Nadia Macrì is being interrogated by the prosecutors in Milan. The call girl yesterday confirmed during a tv news programme on the public Italian tv – Annozero - that she had sex with Berlusconi for money and saw in one occasion Ruby dancing naked during a party at Berlusconi’s villa.
In the meanwhile, the 14 girls living in a residence that belongs to Berlusconi in the outskirts of Milan have been evicted: they have 8 days to leave. The women were told that they damage the reputation of the other people living there.
And the scandal has become global: a Taiwanese tv makes fun of the story with a 3d movie.
Sexgate, Berlusconi denies all the allegations in a new video message and attacks his prosecutors. Leaked on the Internet the full 389 pages document against Berlusconi. Up to 50K pounds for a night of “bunga-bunga”
Up to 50 thousand pounds is the sum of money payed by Berlusconi for each “bunga-bunga” party: this is what emerges from the interrogations and the wiretapped conversations enclosed in the 389 pages document put together by the prosecutors in Milan. Many girls confirmed in fact that Berlusconi used to give his guests envelopes with four 500 euros banknotes. In addition, others were given jewels and others expensive gifts.
On the whole, the “bunga-bunga” ritual is estimated to have costed Berlusconi a whopping 2,5 million euros (about 2 million pounds) per year.
Berlusconi, in the meantime, released another video message (the second in a few days) in which he claimed to be victim of a sort of conspiracy of the judges, in order to bring him down. This, said Berlusconi, “should be punished”.
On the Internet, though, was published today the full 389 pages document with all the conversations wiretapped by the prosecutors (the same sent to the Italian Parliament, which by Tuesday will decide whether to authorise the perquisition of Berlusconi’s office). It can be downloaded, among the others, on the website of the “Popolo viola” (“Purple people”), a movement that gathers all the people in Italy and abroad who are against Berlusconi.
Berlusconi’s sex scandal, the Parliament postpones to Tuesday the decision on the perquisition of his offices. Ruby confesses on a tv show: “I was raped when I was 9″
In the meantime, Ruby, the Moroccan dancer for which Berlusconi is accused of underage prostitution, appeared on a tv show, “Kalispera” (presented on Canale 5, one of Berlusconi’s channels, by Alfonso Signorini, a journalist very closed to Berlusconi), revealing that “at 9 I suffered the first trauma of my life, I was raped by two uncles”.
During the same interview, Ruby also denied to have had sex with the Prime minister.
Yesterday, Berlusconi said that he has no intention to resign, and added: “I’m having fun of this”.
It remains difficult to say what kind of political consequences the “sexgate” could have in Italy: the Democratic Party said today that Berlusconi should resign, but at the same rejected the idea of anticipated elections.
Today, on the New York Times – which covers this story with a long article on the first page – the correspondent from Rome Rachel Donadio wrote that “it remains to be seen if the government will collapse”, underlying at the same time that “this time, with the prime minister facing possible criminal charges and with wiretaps presenting a picture of a sordid world of orgies and of blackmail by call girls, things are beginning to look different” from the scandals of the past.
Berlusconi, the dragon to whom virgins offer themselves. One girl, about the parties: “It’s crazy, a brothel”. Ruby reveals: “I asked him 5 millions to keep my mouth shut”
IN THESE PICTURES: NICOLE MINETTI, 25 YEARS OLD, FORMER DENTAL HYGIENIST OF BERLUSCONI, THEN SHOWGIRL (CENTRE) FOR ONE OF HIS TV SHOWS, NOW REGIONAL COUNCILLOR AT LOMBARDY COUNCIL. SHE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION IN THE RUBY CASE FOR INSTIGATION TO PROSTITUTION. TODAY SHE TOLD THE PRESS THAT SHE IS NOT GOING TO RESIGN.
It is a sad, shameful and squalid scenario the one that in these hours is emerging from the investigation for underage prostitution against the Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The Vatican expressed concern for what is happening, and the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano has asked for clarity. The leader of the PD, the Democratic Party, has asked Berlusconi to resign and defend himself in a tribunal.
The women of the Freedom People, Berlusconi’s party, still defend him, while the women of the PD – the Democratic Party – have lauched today a petition against the way Berlusconi’s has covered with shame the image of women in Italy.
In the meanwhile, the papers sent to the Parliament by the Milan’s Prosecution Office have been read by all the deputies, and a specific commission will decide by tomorrow whether or not to authorise the police do search Berlusconi’s office.
The papers of the investigation are secret and cannot be copied or published, but indiscretions are coming out anyway, and many people who have read the 389 pages of transcriptions of wiretapped phone calls between dozens of girls who attended Berlusconi’s parties describe a scenario of virgins offering themselves to the dragon.
Here are some of those transcriptions, as reported today by Giuseppe D’Avanzo and Piero Colaprico on the newspaper “Repubblica”:
“There is the one who admits ‘This way we are settled forever’. Others, like Barbara Faggioli, are impatients: ‘Come on, I have just one thousand euros left, I must cash in, even though I see it dark for this weekend’. There is someone who cut it short: ‘Iris thinks that he wants to cut the dinners, and suggests to steal something from his home’. There is someone who is impatient: ‘What a drag this old man! Sooner or later he will tell us all to fuck off. This is the time that I’ll kill him, I will throw myself a statue in his face, does he really thinks to just tell us to fuck off without a shit?’. Another one reminds her why they are there: ‘Papi is our source of money’.
And those who attend the parties, have to be ready to see and do any sort of things, as Nicole Minetti tells a friend who is going for the first time to one of Berlusconi’s parties:
“Swear that you won’t take it badly, and you’ll mind your own business. For God’s sake, you’ll see any sort of thing, I mean, it’s a complete desperation, I mean…you’ll see, for some people this is the occasion of the life, so you see every sort of things happening…Trust me, use the french, it drives him crazy…tell him everything about yourself, and so on…There are different kinds of people (there), the slut, the southern-american who doesn’t speak Italian and comes from the slums, there’s the serious one, the half and half…”
In another wiretapped phone call, reported today on media, Ruby – the Moroccan girl with whom Berlusconi is accused to have had sex when she was underage – admits:
“My case is the one who scares everybody, it’s outstripping even the case of D’Addario and Letizia…I have spoken with Silvio, I told him that I want to get something out of this…Five millions, five millions in return of my name covered with shame…But we are not worried at all, because Silvio calls me all the time, he told me ‘try to tell bullshit, pretend you’re crazy’…He called me, he said ‘I’ll give you all the money you want, I’ll pay you, I’ll cover you with gold, the important thing is that you cover everything”.
One girl, T.M., describing one of Berlusconi’s parties, to a friend, says:
“It’s crazy, you have no idea…They all call him ‘love’, ‘sweetheart’…You can’t imagine what happens there…The newspapers tell less than half of the truth, even when they’re tough on him…It seems like ‘Bagaglino’ (a tv show with comedians and half-naked girl on the Italian tv, n.d.r.) but it’s worse, it’s a brothel! WIth Berlusconi touching the asses of the girls…Now, if you do that sort of things in your bedroom, it’s only your business. But like this, in front of everybody…I wonder how he can work the day after!”
Ruby case, the Parliament will decide by Wednesday whether to authorise a perquisition of Berlusconi’s office. The Prime minister denies sex allegations: “I am in a stable relationship”
The Italian Parliament got today from Berlusconi’s prosecutors all the papers and the transcriptions of the interrogations about the “Ruby case”, in which the Prime minister is accused of underage prostitution and extortion for his relationship with 17 years old Moroccan dancer Karima “Ruby” El Mahroug.
RUBY INTERVIEWED BY REPUBBLICA/L’ESPRESSO:
In those papers there is the transcription of a phone call between Ruby and Nicole Minetti – a local politician, now under investigation – in which the girl openly says she had sex with Berlusconi.
So far, Ruby has admitted that she got payed 7000 euros to attend a party at Berlusconi’s villa. The girl also said that Berlusconi knew she was underage.
A specific body of the Parliament is entitled to decide whether or not to authorise the perquisition of the Prime minister’s office. It was reported today on the Italian press that the decision is expected to be taken by the 19th of January.
In the meanwhile, it remains unclear whether Berlusconi will show up in Milan’s Prosecution Office at the end of the week: in fact, the prosecutors have formally asked him to be interrogated between the 21st and the 23rd of January, but yesterday the newsagency ANSA reported that he had chosen not to go. Later, though, it was reported by the media that the decision has not be taken yet.
Yesterday, also, Berlusconi in a video message recorded at his villa and broadcast by all the main private and public channels on the Italian tv defended himself, saying that he has never payed a woman to have sex with him, and he is now in a stable relationship with a woman (whose name he did not reveal).
BERLUSCONI DEFENDS HIMSELF IN A VIDEO MESSAGE ON THE ITALIAN TV:
According to the Italian media, Berlusconi is considering to appeal to the Constitution Court against the Milan’s prosecutors, claiming that their office in not competent in investigating these matters.
Berlusconi accused of underage prostitution and extortion. “This is yet another attempt to cut me out of the political scene”
“We are facing yet another theory formulated specifically to throw rubbish at me and my institutional role, in the illusory attempt to cut me out of the political scene. This time, though, has been passed every limit. The rubbish will turn against those who use the justice as a political weapon (…) Never in seventeen years of relentless judiciary persecution against my person some prosecutors of the Milan’s Office have gone so far to distort the truth, the costitutional guarantee and the State of rights”.
This was the reaction today – witten in an offical statement - of the Italian Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to the accuse of underage prostitution and extortion formulated against him by the prosecutors of the Milan’s Prosecution Office.
Berlusconi has been required to attend an interrogation in Milan between the 21st and the 23rd of January. It was reported by the Italian media that the Prosecution’s Office wants Berlusconi to udergo an immediate process, skipping this way the phase of the preliminary debate in Court. In the Italian judiciary system, prosecutors can ask to follow this procedure when there are substantial proofs against the defendant.
Berlusconi is accused of underage prostitution for what concerns his relationship with underage (at that time) Moroccan dancer Karima El-Mahroug, known as “Ruby heartbreaker”. According to several witnesses, Berlusconi gave Ruby thousands of euros after she attended parties and dinners between February 2010 and May 2010 at Berlusconi’s villa in Arcore, in the outskirts of Milan. Emilio Fede, a notorious tv journalist, appears to have brought the girl to Berlusconi in those occasions, and is now investigated for induction to prostitution. A politician, Nicole Minetti – former dentist of Berlusconi – is also investigated for the same crime, along with Lele Mora, a notorious showbiz agent.
In October 2010, the Italian media reveiled that in August 2010 Berlusconi used his power to get Ruby out of custody, where she was held on the accuse of theft. For that reason Berlusconi is also accused of extortion, becaused he used his power to bypass the ordinary procedure and the decision of the judge for the minors, Annamaria Fiorillo, who had stated that underage Ruby must had been given in custody to a community for minors. The police, though, ignored Fiorillo’s orders and gave Ruby to Nicole Minetti, who claimed to be responsible for the girl.
Two days ago, the Constitutional Court stated that the Legitimate Impediment Law that protects Berlusconi from his trials is against the Constitution: three different trials stand against him, apart from the “Ruby case”.
The investigation on the “Ruby case” also unveiled that in the outskirts of Milan, in the so-called Milano2 neighborhood (created by Berlusconi himself in the Seventies), some 14 girls are living for free in several apartments that belongs to Berlusconi hiself. Berlusconi also gave presents and money to those girls to attend his parties.
Among the girls, there are some notorious tv starlettes and people who appeared in tv shows such as The Island of the Famous, The Big Brother and Miss Italia.