Wednesday, February 16, 2011

COMMENTARY: Prime Minister Berlusconi of Italy Must Be Replaced

A judge in Italy ruled this week that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be tried on April 6, 2011 on charges that he paid for sex with an underage nightclub dancer, and then tried to cover it up.

Berlusconi, 74, is suspected of trying to hide evidence on meetings he allegedly had with Moroccan exotic dancer Ruby Rubacuori last year when she was only 17. Incredible as it may seem, the fact is that Berlusconi is more than four times as old as Ruby.

Ruby admitted to an Italian newspaper that the billionaire Berlusconi showered her with several "gifts," including an Audi R8 sports car, a diamond necklace, and $9,700 in cash. Nonetheless, both Ruby and the prime minister deny that they had sexual relations.

Italian prosecutors investigating the case are convinced that Ruby stayed overnight at the prime minister's villa near Milan last year on several occasions.

The Vatican -- in an obviously graceful way of calling for Berlusconi to resign -- issued a statement two weeks ago, which said that it was "particularly worried" about the impact that the scandal was having in Italy.

During the past week, more than 100,000 Italians have been protesting against Berlusconi's affairs -- apparently he has had several affairs with women -- and called for his resignation. Signs displayed by protesters indicate that the prime minister treats women as "sex objects" and that he should be "kicked out" of office.

Indeed, Berlusconi should resign his position as prime minister of Italy -- and fast -- or it should be taken away from him by the Italian legislature.

There are just too many situations in Italy that need to be addressed with the full attention and time that they require. Italy cannot afford to have a prime minister who will put these critical issues on the "back burner" and have them superseded with his fascination for women.

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