'Dump Berlusconi,' US magazine urges Italy
"Italy can no longer afford the antics of its playboy in chief," Newsweek writes.
Washington -- The US weekly magazine Newsweek urged Italy to "dump Berlusconi" in a scathing lead article devoted to the scandals and woes facing the Italian prime minister.
The title plastered across the magazine's cover was accompanied by a picture of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ostensibly bowing out and waving good-bye.
"Italy can no longer afford the antics of its playboy in chief," the magazine writes in its European edition dated October 19, in a three-page article which lists the sex scandals said to involve the Italian leader.
"One thinks of Nero, or the Borgias, of bread and circuses, debauchery and corruption," the magazine intones, adding "Berlusconi plans to hold on -- and he might just succeed.
"Just because he can stay in power doesn't mean he should, however."
Newsweek adds: "He's drunk on power and drunk on himself and if he stays at Italy's wheel, he's likely not only to wreck the country but also to damage Europe and possibly even the North Atlantic alliance."
Instead of undertaking vital economic and social reforms, Berlusconi "has his eyes firmly fixed on the rearview mirror, looking for the prosecutors, press, communist conspirators and scheming competitors -- not to mention angry women -- out to get him."
Scandals such as Berlusconi's relationship with an 18-year-old woman -- which caused his wife to seek a divorce -- and an allegation that he spent a night with a call girl have dominated headlines in recent months.
And last week, Italy's Constitutional Court stripped the prime minister of his immunity from prosecution paving the way for two corruption trials to resume against the 73-year-old billionaire media tycoon.