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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1591

Silvio Lining in Veronica’s dark cloud - Berlusconi Ordered to Pay $14,000 a day to his ex-wife

Hemantha Abewardena writes from London…

veronica.gifVeronica Lario, 56, the long-enduring wife of Silvio Berlusconi, the ex-Italian Prime Minister, was awarded over $10,000 a day by a court in Italy as a part of divorce settlement on Christmas Day, when for an ordinary Italian even $1000 a day is just a dream in economically-challenging times.

Ms Lario is going to get $48 million a year from Mr Berlusconi who is estimated to be worth more than $6 billion – somewhat short of her initial demand of $56 million a year. Mr Berlusconi, meanwhile, was allowed to keep his mansion, which is said to be worth almost $100 million, despite Ms Lario’s firm demand to have it as a part of the same settlement.

The judge justified the monthly payment by saying that she was entitled to live the life she had been accustomed to live before the separation, while taking into account the fact that the pair had been living as a couple for more than two decades. Mr Berlusconi seemed to have agreed with the ruling.

It was Ms Lario, who walked out on Mr Berlusconi in 2009, accusing him of ‘consorting’ with minors. Mr Berlusconi’s presence in an 18th birthday party of an aspiring model became the last straw for the troubled relationship between Mr Berlusconi and his ex-wife. Noemi Letizia, the aspiring young model in question, denied any relationship with Mr Berlusconi at that time and even addressed him as ‘Papa’ with a bit of emotion, when she was on gossiping radar as an augury of destruction.

Although, Ms Lario tried her best to minimize the political damage to Mr Berlusconi, who was the prime minister of Italy at the time, by using the little-used term ‘consorting’ in her accusation, the English-speaking world – and way beyond that as well – knew what she meant was uninhibited philandering by her spouse. The development angered Mr Berlusconi to his core and he took his own back on her in a subtle way.

Mr Berlusconi told Mara Carfagna in public, then a show girl who later became an MP in Mr Berlusconi’s party, that if he were not married, he would run off with her. Having been offended by the remark, Ms Lario demanded an apology from her then husband - and got one. The quick gesture, however, could not dampen Mr Berlusconi’s determination to appoint Miss Carfagna as the minister for equal opportunities. Mr Berlusgoin’s addiction to so-called Bunga Bunga parties dealt the final blow to the crumbling marriage which was over by 2010.

Before Christmas this year, Mr Berlusconi surprised the world by announcing that he was in love again. Answering a wide range of questions on one of his own television channels, Mr Berlusconi , 76, announced that he was engaged to Fransesca Pascale, a 27-year party activist who had formed a support group called ‘Silvio-We-Miss-You’.

“Finally, I feel less lonely,” said Mr Berlusconi in his formal announcement. “She is 27 years old, with very solid values, beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside,” added Mr Berlusconi in his frank interview, while taking the age gap between the two, which in cricketing world is known as a half-a-century, with a pinch of salt. “She loves me very much and I feel the same,” Said Mr Berlusconi as if he was winding up his Bunga Bunga parties for good. In order to show that he has the seal of approval from the immediate family circle, Mr Berlusconi said that Miss Pascale was a great friend of Marina, Mr Berlusconi’s 46-year-old daughter, the oldest of his offspring.

With the engagement to Miss Pascale, Mr Berlusconi, who is planning to run for the premier for the fourth time, appeared to have addressed a serious nagging issue for his forthcoming premiership – the vacancy of the First Lady. During the last few months of his premiership, Mr Berlusconi was forced to choose his young female cabinet ministers in the pecking order for the role of the First Lady, which ran into problems when Mr Berlusconi tried to maintain some consistency among squabbling young hot-heads.

Miss Pascale, on her part, said that her life revolves around three things: her family, politics and of course, Silvio. Political commentators, who are gifted with an additional sense for serious romance, see Mara Carfagna, the former minister of equal opportunities in Mr Berlusconi’s cabinet, as an unwanted distraction against Miss Pascale’s moderate ambitions. They fear that Miss Carfagna could add a fourth dimension to Miss Pascale’s world that revolves around just three things – in a mutually-destructive way.

- Asian Tribune -

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