Berlusconi compares himself to Mussolini

This video from Italy is called Berlusconi’s party of EU candidates.

If a Leftist critic of Silvio Berlusconi compares him to fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, the usual reaction from Berlusconi‘s supporters is: “HOW DARE YOU!!”

Now, however, from the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Silvio Berlusconi compares himself to Mussolini

Silvio Berlusconi has compared himself to Benito Mussolini, complaining that like the Second World War leader he does not have enough real power.

Nick Squires in Rome

Published: 12:58PM BST 28 May 2010

The Italian prime minister said he empathised with Il Duce, who had complained that he lacked real authority and that true power lay with officials in his fascist administration.

Mr Berlusconi said he had recently been reading Mussolini‘s diaries, which had led him to reflect on the challenges of governing Italy in the 21st century.

“I will dare to quote you a phrase from someone considered a dictator, a great, powerful dictator, Benito Mussolini,” the 73-year-old media tycoon told a news conference at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

“In his diary, I recently read this phrase. ‘They say I have power. It isn’t true. Maybe my party officials do. But I don’t know. All I can do is say to my horse go right or left. And I have to be happy with that.'” Mr Berlusconi, who has been accused of a dictatorial style of government by the Opposition and even members of his own centre-Right coalition, said: “As prime minister, I have never had the feeling that I was in power.

“Sometimes as a businessman, with 56,000 employees, I’ve had the feeling of being able to decide and be in control. But today in a democracy, I am in the service of everyone and anyone can criticise me and perhaps even insult me,” he said.

The remark came in response to a question on whether the £20 billion austerity plan announced by his government this week threatened his popularity.

Italian newspapers ran pictures of Mr Berlusconi at the conference in Paris alongside black and white images of Mussolini, who seized power in 1922 and led Italy into war against Britain and France in 1940.

La Stampa recalled another controversial comment he made about the wartime leader in 2003, when he told Boris Johnson, then the editor of The Spectator, that Mussolini was a benign figure who “never killed anyone” and sent his political opponents “on holiday”.

Five worrisome coincidences between the current Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi and the early 20th century dictator, Benito Mussolini, in their visions of democracy: here.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government has won a confidence vote in the Senate on a Bill that curbs wiretaps and imposes fines on news organisations that report leaked information on criminal investigations: here.

8 thoughts on “Berlusconi compares himself to Mussolini

  1. Paolo Berlusconi in wiretap leak probe

    Premier’s brother allegedly accepted illegally obtained tape

    01 June, 13:11

    (ANSA) – Milan, June 1 – The brother of Premier Silvio Berlusconi is under investigation here for accepting illegally obtained wiretap evidence, the contents of which which he later published in his newspaper Il Giornale, the Milan daily Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday.

    The wiretap in question recorded a conversation in July 2005 between the head of the one-time opposition Democratic Left (DS) party, Piero Fassino, and Giovanni Consorte, the former chairman of Unipol, an association of insurers historically linked to the DS, Italy’s former Communist Party.

    At the time Unipol came close to taking over one of Italy’s leading banks, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), and Fassino was recorded as saying “we have a bank!”. Paolo Berlusconi, a businessman and chairman of the company which publishes Il Giornale, was allegedly allowed to hear the tape, before it was even logged in as evidence, by Roberto Raffaelli, the head of the firm Research Control System (RCS) which had been contracted by investigators to make the wiretap.

    Several weeks later, on December 24, Raffaelli and a businessman friend, Fabrizio Favata, allegedly went to Silvio Berlusconi’s private mansion in Arcore, outside Milan, and played it for the premier and, again, his brother and handed over a copy.

    A transcript of the Fassino-Consorte conversation was published December 31 in Il Giornale.

    Favata is reported to have confirmed to investigators both the encounter in Arcore and the fact that Paolo Berlusconi had heard the tape weeks before at the offices of Il Giornale.

    The probe against Paolo Berlusconi is based on the assumption that he knew he was illegally obtaining the tape.

    Sources at the Milan prosecutors’ office said on Tuesday that the premier was not implicated in the probe. According to Corriere della Sera, Paolo Berlusconi is also under investigation for accepting money under false pretenses because he allegedly took some 560,000 euros from Favata, on Raffaelli’s behalf, and promised to help RSC win a contract in Romania.

    Favata was recently arrested on extortion charges. Investigators say he blackmailed Raffaelli for 300,000 euros by threatening to tell the press and police details on how the wiretap was leaked to Il Giornale.

    On Monday a judge turned downed Favata’s request to be released on bail.

    Berlusconi’s government has presented to parliament a bill to clamp down on wiretap leaks and their publication.


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