Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Silvio Berlusconi and the (Italian) clash of the century, with his nemesis Michele Santoro



Thursday, 10 January 2013. Silvio Berlusconi enters the lions den, where Michele Santoro and Marco Travaglio were looking forward to devouring the former prime minister.
Santoro and Berlusconi discussing on air
Santoro and Berlusconi
Allegedly Silvio Berlusconi kicked Michele Santoro out of Italian public TV RAI, back in 2002, that's why the clash between the former prime minister and the left-wing anchorman was described as the duel of the century by many.

Silvio Berlusconi was supposed to walk out in anger, after Michele Santoro and his associate Marco Travaglio would have grilled him properly.

Almost 9 million Italians were glued to the video (one third of the audience, up to 50 per cent in the heat of the discussion), as the Santoro-team attacked on waves.

Nothing doing, the former prime minister fended off Santoro's lunges, ignored Luisella Costamagna remarks, and even returned fire to Marco Travaglio, by enlisting – written on a letter he abruptly pulled out of his pocket - ten lawsuits for defamation the journalist had lost.

Silvio Berlusconi cleansing the chair where Marco Travaglio sat previously at Servizio Pubblico
Berlusconi cleansing the chair where Travaglio sat
Attacks regarding sex-scandals, Rubygate, and the paying of the 42 bunga-bunga army girls, the request of saying to the Italians he was sorry... all in vane. Silvio Berlusconi answers blending wit remarks, with shreds of statistics, smiles and provocations. And, once again, he gets away with it, and keeps on «gaining back who already voted for me, and perhaps convincing new voters», as he put it.


How to convince the Italians that the People of Liberty party is the right choice? Silvio Berlusconi's pièce de résistance is the abolition of a tax on proprieties, which yield would be – according to the former Italian prime minister – replaced by new taxes on tobaccos, spirits and gambling (the tax was introduced by Berlusconi himselft, but it's the Monti's government that made it applicable to owners of first homes).

Running out of options, Santoro also showed a video taken almost four years before (in April 2009), when Silvio Berlusconi had been keeping waiting German chancellor Angela Merkel while he was talking on the telephone (the video is available on our YouTube channel, click here> to watch it). Well, of course Silvio had an answer for that (he could have work out quite a range of replies, in four years...), but before replying to it – revealing he had been talking to Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about a crucial topic of the summit - he said «Santoro, you're digging your own grave.».

I'm having fun” would later declare smiling the former prime minister. Santoro – quite evidently – was not having fun, was visibly annoyed and refuse to shake hands with Silvio, at a certain stage. At least until Silvio left and he went on giggling with his cartoonist friend, Vauro Senesi, who showed the sketches he had been drawing during the programme, in what Santoro called «my communist moments.».

While enjoying his communists moments, Santoro might be an unaware supporter for Silvio, whose deficit had been reducing constantly, since the Italian politician started to show off on TV, without finding any credible opposition. So far.

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Video from our YouTube Channel: Berluschannel