Berlusconi ai giovani di destra di Atreju raccointa la barzeklletta su Hitler. Sui giornali italiani il fatto è in genere scomparso all’interno dei resoconti: neanche un sommarietto. Solo la stampa estera sembra avere il senso dello scandalo. Dopo Libération ecco anche il Guardian del 13.9.2010 che correttamente ha intitolato su questa nuiova buffonata del premier.
Berlusconi jokes about Hitler at youth rally
Silvio Berlusconi urged to apologise after impromptu speech in which he also advises young Italians to marry into money
Faced with a tottering economy and a crumbling coalition government, Silvio Berlusconi has chosen to woo a youth rally with jokes about Adolf Hitler and his own sexual prowess.
Appearing relaxed, if a little pale, before a crowd of cheering supporters yesterday, the frequently outspoken and gaffe-prone Italian prime minister promised to see out the end of his term, despite losing his guaranteed majority after a split with an ally, Gianfranco Fini.
Putting politics aside, he then launched into a series of anecdotes and apparent jokes that promptly drew accusations of anti-Semitism and even mental instability from opposition politicians.
The former cruise ship entertainer told a joke in which Adolf Hitler is begged by his supporters to return to power after they discover he is still alive. After resisting, Hitler says: “I’ll come back, but on one condition … next time I’m going to be evil.”
Fabio Evangelisti, a member of parliament for the opposition Italy of Values party, demanded Berlusconi apologise to Israel and the Italian Jewish community. The party’s leader, Antonio Di Pietro, said: “At this point the problem is not political or judicial, but psychiatric.”
Turning his attention to the economy, Berlusconi jokingly advised young Italians to marry into money, adding: “I have a daughter who is free to marry.”
Now separated from his wife following the scandal over his friendship with the teenage model Noemi Letizia, Berlusconi said he was also an eligible candidate for four reasons: “I am friendly, I have money, legend has it I know how to do ‘it’, and lastly because girls think: ‘He’s old and rich, he will die soon and I will inherit everything.'”
The poor performance over the weekend of AC Milan, the football club he controls, was down to a leftwing referee disallowing goals, Berlusconi joked.
The impromptu speech followed a visit to Russia on Friday, where he surprised the audience at a conference on democracy with a fierce attack on Italian magistrates he claims are hounding him. He said of Vladimir Putin: “I have never had any doubts that he is anything less than democratically minded.” Putin and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, Berlusconi added, were “a gift from God” to Russia.
Last month, Berlusconi took time to defend Muammar Gaddafi after the Libyan leader told an invited audience of 200 women in Rome that Islam should be “Europe’s religion”. When the speech prompted outcry from the Vatican, Berlusconi dismissed Gaddafi’s behaviour as merely “folkloric”.
Berlusconi, 73, has previously been criticised for calling Barack Obama “young, handsome and tanned”, and last year for leaving Angela Merkel waiting to greet him at a conference while he made a call on his mobile phone.
Despite the criticism today, Berlusconi claimed he was “a respected statesman who is praised at international summits for his background as a tycoon, his 16 years of political experience and the content of his proposals.”
He said he had learned from Margaret Thatcher not to waste time reading negative coverage of himself in newspapers. The former British prime minister, he said, had told him that her press secretary only showed her positive articles about her.
Reign of error: Berlusconi’s gaffes in office
• April 2009: Shortly after an earthquake hit the city of L’Aquila, Berlusconi told the 17,000 Italians made homeless by the quake that, “they should see it like a weekend of camping”
• January 2009: Dismissed the idea that increasing the number of troops on Italian streets would help stop a surge in rape cases arguing that, “we would need as many soldiers as there are beautiful girls in Italy – which we will never manage”
• November 2008: At a news conference in Moscow with the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, Berlusconi described Barack Obama as “young, handsome, and tanned”
• April 2008: Berlusconi caused outrage after saying “Zapatero [Spain’s prime minister] has formed a government that is too pink, something that we cannot do in Italy because there is a prevalence of men in politics and it isn’t easy to find women who are qualified … He will have problems leading them”
• April 2006: On welcoming the then newly elected female MP Mara Carfagna to parliament he joked: “I am obliged to remind you of a rule in the Forza Italia group, the jus primae noctis” (a Latin reference to the medieval “law of the first night” which gave the lord of an estate the right to “deflower” new brides)
• June 2005: He claimed he had “brushed up” all his “playboy skills” to persuade Finland’s president, Tarja Halonen, to agree to host the European Food Safety Authority in Italy
• July 2003: Berlusconi caused uproar at the European parliament after replying to a heckling German MEP with the comment, “Mr Schulz, I know there is in Italy a man producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps. I would like to suggest you for the role of leader. You’d be perfect”