Stories and News No. 29: Berlusconi and Veronica: the Pope writes a letter to the Premier
I read the newspaper - yours, I always read yours, I am coherent... – about the tragic moment that you and your wife are living.
“This is a painful personal affair...” you said.
You’re wrong, my son.
The family, Silvio, the family is never a personal affair to us and you should know this.
We… ops, you have based the election campaign on the family when you came into politics world, God bless that day, at least until the last week.
What are you doing to me?
I told to you: if you want to have a party with eighteen girls, do it in your home! Don’t make me say bad words… Don’t exaggerate! I told you also this many times. Veronica is a good woman, but she’s not stupid. This I wrote on the Bruno Vespa’s book that I gave you. What about you? You never listen to my advices.
Yet, after I heard of the request of separation by your wife, I thought: it’s not over; I will intercede; I will take care of it. I was shortening my eyebrows before leaving to make footing when my radio gave the news about your reactions to Veronica’s decision. Regarding the possibility of reconciliation, you said these words: "I don't think so. I don't know if I want that this time. Veronica will have to apologise to me publicly..."
She will have to apologise to you? Silvio! Do you think this is the right moment to be headstrong? Moreover it’s you that have to apologise and not only to Veronica. You have forgotten the family! Family, my son! You’ll make me say a really bad word, this time...
What else did you say? Ah, this is painful personal affair... Is it painful to you? Silvio! The family is not just your stuff, how can you disregard such a thing? All of us - and when I say us, you know what I mean… need the family, your family first. Here are all crying, first of all Bagnasco. He’s fragile, you know it.
But the point where you reach the maximum is this: “We have maintained a difficult situation together for the love of our children, but now it’s over.”
For the love of our children? Silvio, I do not believe to my ears.
For the love of the family, not the children! You must take care of the family, not the children. You also said that the children are on your side.
Are you happy? Finally you made me say a bad word!
Silvio, an old man with children is not a family. To have a family you need a mother and mom is going away. A natural mother, of course. If a natural mother goes away, the natural family is over.
And if natural family is over, it implies the end of our family.
Now you're alone, Silvio.
No family, no Party.
Reuters, 4 May 2009: Berlusconi rejects patch-up with wife, seeks apology.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said even a public apology from his wife would not be enough to salvage his 19-year marriage after she disparaged him in the media. His wife Veronica said over the weekend she planned to file for divorce, days after criticizing Berlusconi for attending an 18-year old aspiring model's birthday party and a "shamelessly trashy" selection of female candidates for European elections. The 72-year-old prime minister and media magnate issued an emotional public apology two years ago when his wife reprimanded him for flirting with young starlets, but told La Stampa newspaper that he had called in the lawyers this time. "To tell the truth, there may even be conditions to sue for defamation, but it's best to leave that alone," he said.
Berlusconi lamented to the Corriere della Sera daily that his wife had been "stirred up" and "fallen into a media trap." Asked if a last-minute reconciliation was possible. he said: "I don't think so, I don't know if I want it this time. Veronica should publicly apologize to me ... And I don't know if that will be enough. It's the third time that she has pulled off a trick like this during an election campaign. "It really is too much," the prime minister said.
Berlusconi, who on Friday declared himself the world's most popular leader, said he did not believe the media frenzy surrounding his private life would hurt his approval ratings or his party's performance in the European elections in June.
A poll published last month showed Berlusconi's approval ratings rose in April to 56 percent thanks to his swift response to a deadly earthquake in central Italy, while the premier puts his own popularity at just over 75 percent.
Opposition members have declined to comment on the matter and called it a private affair, but center-left leader Dario Franceschini demanded Berlusconi stop suggesting his marital troubles had been stirred up by the left.
'ANYTHING BUT SHOWGIRLS'
Defending at length his party's choice of female candidates that Veronica had lambasted as "entertainment for the emperor," Berlusconi said each woman had impressive qualifications.
"We never included any showgirl in the list and the three that we excluded at the last minute were very capable girls, with an excellent education. Anything but showgirls," he said.
"Veronica has believed many inaccurate things written in the press, unfortunately."
He also shrugged off Veronica's anger at his presence at the Naples birthday bash of an 18-year-old woman. Berlusconi said he agreed to stop by at the party only at the insistence of the woman's father, an old friend.
"There's nothing strange here, it's happened several times with birthdays and marriages," Berlusconi said.
The couple's marital problems has quickly become the main conversation topic in cafes and offices across Italy and dominated the front pages of Italian newspapers on Monday. "It's Veronica who must apologize," Corriere's headline declared.
Supporters of Berlusconi have criticized Veronica, who rarely appears with him and has long lived in a separate house, for the latest public clash with her husband. The two have been together for 29 years and were married in 1990.
Berlusconi, who is Italy's second-richest man, has three children aged 20, 22 and 24 with Veronica.
However, it is his two children by his first marriage who play the most prominent roles in his business empire.
Son Piersilvio is vice-chairman of media group Mediaset while daughter Marina chairs holding company Fininvest and publishing arm Mondadori.
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