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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Italian Prime Minister Faces Corruption Charges

However, it seems that the minister will get away with it easily

The Italian prime minister is definitely one of the brightest personas in the European politics. The billionaire from Milan looks pretty good against the background of his colleagues from other countries, who do not do anything without paying attention to the public opinion. Moreover, the scandals that Silvio Berlusconi has been through would ruin anyone else's political career, but Mr. Berlusconi simply got away with it.

Berlusconi became the first prime minister in Italy's history, who faced the trial on the allegation of corruption and financial fraud. To all appearances, the prime minister will manage to get away this time again. Most likely, the trial will not exert any influence on his political career. At the end of the day, no matter how Berlusconi's opponents might try, the incumbent Italian prime minister is good for the majority of Italians, who like the following principle: an oligarch at power is good, because he will not steal, but work for the state.

This is a doubtful thesis, of course, but it still works for Italy, though. Berlusconi's way to the power is not an example to follow for anyone. Silvio Berlusconi started his career as a singer in the 1950s. In the beginning of the 21st century Mr.Berlusconi had it all: one of the largest companies of Europe, the office of the Italian prime minister. Everything seems to be fine, but Berlusconi's sins of the past (if there are any) would not let the Italian opposition and justice calm down.

The reason of the current trial is the events, which took place 18 years ago, during the privatization of the SME state food corporation. Silvio Berlusconi has been charged with bribing judges in order to gain the possession of the corporation. The Italian prime minister claims that he did not bribe judges, that he got implicated in the story, because the then Prime Minister Bettino Craxi asked him to submit an application to purchase the company, since other contenders' prices were too low.

The SME privatization was extremely scandalous, it ruined the reputation of a lot of Italian politicians. Bettino Craxi was one of them too: he escaped from justice abroad and died in 2000. Yet, it is obvious that the story is far from its end. Apparently, certain Italian politicians might be jailed: if not Berlusconi, then it might be Romano Prodi, the President of the European Commission. The latter was the manager of the IRI state enterprise, which put SME for sale. Silvio Berlusconi shifts all the blame on Prodi now.

Nevertheless, political factors are involved in the story too, in addition to economic ones. Spokespeople for the Italian opposition have a great wish to see Silvio Berlusconi in the dock. The incumbent prime minister has already become like a red cloth for a bull for them, taking into consideration the fact that Berlusconi invites ultra-right politicians in the government, like Umberto Bossi of the Northern League, for example. On the whole, the opposition believes that it is not nice to have the prime minister, who simultaneously takes the position of Italy's largest corporation. The leaders of a lot of European countries agree with them, basically, although they will never stand up and say that out loud, of course.

This way or other, but Silvio Berlusconi has been good at resisting the attacks of his adversaries. There is an impression that he likes doing that. Mr.Berlusconi feels confident, even in spite of the fact that he was about to be convicted in 2000 - amnesty came right on time.

Anyway, the commotion like that gets boring sooner or later. Berlusconi will be bored with it as well someday. The Italian government currently discusses an opportunity of a law, which would protect Italian politicians from a legal persecution. It is not really hard to guess, who needs this law a lot. Most likely, Berlusconi will have his way this time too.