Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Silvio Berlusconi

In 2016 Forbes magazine declared that Silvio Berlusconi was the world's 188th-richest person, with a net worth of $7.1 billion. I have no idea how Forbes goes about investing the net worths of rich people, I have no idea how accurate their estimates are, but for whatever it's worth, there it is. Also in 2016 Forbes estimated that Trump was worth $3.7 billion.

Berlusconi was Prime minister of Italy from 1994 to 1995, again from 2001 to 2006, and again from 2008 to 2011. He was a member of the center-right Forza Italia party, but was criticized for alliances with the far-right parties Lega Nord and Alleanza Nazionale. He says things like

"I don't need to go into office for the power. I have houses all over the world, stupendous boats... beautiful airplanes, a beautiful wife, a beautiful family... I am making a sacrifice."

"When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, 'Yes', while the other 70% replied, 'What, again?'"

"It's better to like beautiful girls than to be gay."

"I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man."

"We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and - in contrast with Islamic countries - respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its value understanding of diversity and tolerance... The West will continue to conquer peoples, even if it means a confrontation with another civilisation, Islam, firmly entrenched where it was 1,400 years ago."

"Women are lining up to marry me. Legend has it, I know how to do it."

"Mussolini never killed anyone, he just sent dissenters abroad for vacation."

and a variety of other racist, sexist, homophobic, absurdly conceited and neo-Fascist things.

By his own estimate in a statement made in 2009, he had made 2,500 court appearances in 106 trials. He has complained that he has been unfairly targeted by the legal authorities in his native city of Milan.

In case after case he either avoided conviction, or a conviction was overturned on appeal. Then in 2013 he was convicted of tax fraud, and in 2015 of bribing an Italian Senator, and because of this conviction, Berlusconi has at long last been banned from participating in the politics of Italy. (Will he be arrested for violating this ban? Who can say.)

Berlusconi's lavish sex parties, known as "bunga bunga," are notorious. One of the consequences of these parties is that Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 of involving an under-age Moroccon girl in prostitution. This conviction was overturned in 2014.

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