Berlusconi offers up villas to quake homeless
L’Aquila — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Friday offered his villas to house those homeless by a deadly earthquake earlier this week.
"Many people have already offered up their houses to help the homeless from the earthquake and I too will do what I can by offering some of my residences," Berlusconi said as he attended funerals for the victims in the quake-ravaged central city of L’Aquila.
Officials estimate at about 28,000 the number of people homeless from Monday’s earthquake, with a large chunk — 18,000 — scraping by in tent villages with a dearth of hot water, showers and electricity.
The quake killed 289 people according to the latest estimates and destroyed and damaged some 10,000 buildings.
Berlusconi stirred controversy earlier this week by telling German television the tent residents "should see it like a weekend of camping."
The billionaire leader owns at least four luxury villas in various parts of the country.