Berlusconi to divorce

This video is called [English] Translation of Berlusconi on the phone – Merkel waiting (Berlusconi‘s call).

From British daily The Guardian:

Veronica Lario, wife of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, begins divorce proceedings after disputes over younger women

Berlusconi-model scandal: here.

Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, pours scorn on a ‘multi-ethnic Italy’: here.

10 thoughts on “Berlusconi to divorce

  1. 2009-05-11 16:13

    New immigration policy under fire

    Council of Europe urges end to repatriation of boat people

    (ANSA) – Strasbourg, May 11 – Europe’s human rights body, the Council of Europe, on Monday urged Italy to reconsider its new policy of returning would-be-immigrants picked up by Italian vessels in the Mediterranean to Libya.

    ”We hope that Italy and (Interior Minister Roberto) Maroni will no longer pursue this return policy,” the Council’s Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg told ANSA.

    ”Italy’s initiative tosses up completely the right to seek asylum” and this is not a ”good” thing, said Hammerberg, stressing that it ”ignores the possibility of the right to escape from repressive and violent situations”. Italy launched its controversial new policy last week, turning back boats of would-be-immigrants and possible asylum seekers trying to reach the country’s southernmost island of Lampedusa.

    The vessels, intercepted by coast guard and navy vessels, were escorted back to Libya, the most popular jumping off point for illegal immigrants.

    Maroni has hailed the policy as ”a new phase in fighting illegal immigration” and rebutted claims that it might put lives at risk at sea or expose refugees to the threats they had fled.

    ”The lives of people desperately trying to escape poverty or war comes before any other consideration for us,” he said.

    ”This principle has always inspired the search and rescue activities that the police and navy carry out in the Mediterranean, often in waters that are not Italy’s responsibility,” he stressed.

    Maroni firmed up the new policy last week after the latest in a string of disagreements with Malta over who should take migrants located in disputed waters.

    Under the policy, which sees a key part of a landmark accord with Libya implemented for the first time, migrants are rescued in international waters and taken back to Libya where humanitarian organisations can vet their asylum claims.


    Malta’s interior minister, Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, echoed Maroni in hailing the deal with Libya.

    ”It’s a very positive step, which we support,” he said on Friday.

    ”It is no longer acceptable to see people on leaky boats risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean while we stand by,” said the minister, who announced that he and Maroni would visit Libya soon along with European Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot.

    Italy, which rescues thousands of North African migrants a year, mostly at Lampedusa south of Sicily, and Malta, which rescues hundreds, will now ask Brussels to put together a ”stronger” aid package for Libya, he said.

    Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Hammerberg’s reaction was to be ”expected” but stressed that Italy was ”bound by a decision taken by the European Union”.

    Frattini said that people seeking asylum or trying to flee violence-racked areas could do so by ”filing requests directly from their own countries or from transit countries”.

    He suggested that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who said last week that deporting migrants while still at sea was against international law, should open up a special office in Libya.

    According to Frattini, on average, ”50% of 100 would-be-migrants apply for political asylum and only half obtain it”.

    ”So we can’t allow 100 clandestines to arrive simply to accept about 20 requests for asylum,” he said.

    He stressed that the new repatriation policy was ”very respectful of European policies” and in line with the 2008 European Pact on Immigration and Asylum.

    The Pact – a document of political intent but not binding laws – sets out principles for managing migration, fighting illegal immigration and forming partnerships with countries that people leave or travel through to get to Europe.

    It also attempts to make border controls more effective while building better asylum policy.

    Meanwhile, Maroni said Italy would ask the EU to apply the principle of solidarity and share hospitality costs for immigrants who have been granted refugee status. ”It’s fitting that we take care of initial reception costs; after that, hospitality expenses for refugees should be funded by all the EU countries,” Maroni said.

    ”Italy is the Mediterranean country that has the greatest influx of illegal immigrants because it’s the gateway to Europe. Among immigrants arriving here there are some who don’t have the right to refugee status and they are repatriated. Others, including those fleeing from a war-torn country seeking to live in Europe have this status and they can stay. But the entire cost of providing hospitality is always fully covered by Italy”.

    Maroni said Italy’s request was being weighed by the European Commission.

    ”I hope the issue is put on the agenda of the upcoming EU summit in Stockholm because the request is a very legitimate one,” he said.


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