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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2675

My Way: Silvio Berlusconi sets the record straight with own biography

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, has finally released a book, in what seems to be his most effective attempt to set the record straight, which had been warped, perhaps, due to his prolonged periods in office – being the longest serving Italian leader ever - political envy and of course, the inevitable test of time.

My Way: Berlusconi in his own words, by Alan Friedman, has finally gone on sale. The book, according to the author, sheds light on the endless upheavals that Mr Berlusconi endured in his tumultuously colourful political career, which was inextricably linked to his media empire.

Mr Friedman justified his assertion with the claim that the contents stem from his one-to-one interviews with Mr Berlusconi that spanned more than 100 hours. So, Mr Friedman has collected enough material to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding Mr Berlusconi during his meteoritic rise, both in business and political realms.

In My Way, Mr Berlusconi also managed to dispel certain fables associated with him, which constantly used to hamper his political career, especially involving foreign leaders.

For instance, Mr Berlusconi denies the less-than-flattering remark that he was allegedly said have made about Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, during the height of the global economic crisis in 2008, on the assumption that the latter wanted his political downfall. Mr Berlusconi, in his book, says it was an invention by the Italian media.

Although, Mr Berlusconi appeared to many as a polarising figure who made disastrous decisions on political stage, the stance – and efforts - he said to have taken against the invasions of both Iraq and Libya, shows that his only impressive trait to hold the high office was not necessarily the ability to have fun; on the contrary, he has shown more maturity than those who instigated these wars on petty justifications.

Mr Berlusconi, particularly, comes down hard on Nicholas Sarkozy, the former French president, who, he says, was always jealous of his wealth and of course, women. According to Mr Berlusconi, Mr Sarkozy turned against Colonel Gaddafi, his one-time friend, because the latter favoured Italy, when it came to oil and gas deals. Mr Berlusconi reminds the readers of the first bombing raids carried out by the French jets, which became the impetus for a full-blown war.

By branding the war in Libya as illogical and dangerous, Mr Berlusconi was full of praise for Colonel Gaddafi for deploying thousands of troops to stop African migrants from crossing into Europe.

In My Way, the former Italian prime minister does not shy away from the subject that used to make regular headlines in the mass media – his admiration of women; far from it.

Mr Berlusconi gives a detailed description about the most controversial term, which became a synonym for Silvio during his reign as the Italian prime minster – bunga bunga parties, which involved army of young women at Mr Berlusconi’s mansions at night.

While admitting he was really ‘naughty’, Mr Berlusconi questioned the rationale behind the numbers involved in those parties that his foes accused him of indulging: “33 girls in two months would be too exhausting, even for a 30-year old,” Mr Berlusconi has remarked, according to the author of his biography.

He vehemently denied that he paid for sex with Ruby-the-heart-stealer, the underage, Moroccan escort, the scandal that nearly put him in jail for breaking the law.

As for the origin of bunga bunga, Mr Berlusconi says it was Colonel Gaddafi who invented it, while referring to the fate of two Italian prisoners of war, tied to a tree, urging to choose an option from just two: death or bunga bunga – male rape.

Colonel Gaddafi, according to Mr Berlusconi, has explained - in graphic detail -of the fate of the first prisoner, who chose bunga bunga; upon seeing this, the second one had understandably gone for the first choice, death, only to be subjected to a bit of bunga bunga – of course, against the will of the hapless man.

The biography shows one thing, among many, of course – that Mr Berlusconi and Colonel Gaddafi had in common – mutual amusement. Mr Berlusconi proudly says that he never allowed his fellow Western leaders to determine who his friends were. The list, from President Putin to Sadaam Hussain, shows the former Italian leader really meant what he says.

The story of a self-made billionaire will undoubtedly leave the God-given right of the Italian public intact, when it comes to adoring or despising their longest-serving, elected leader – for years to come.

My Way: Berlusconi in his own words can be bought from Amazon from the following link:
My Way: Berlusconi In His Own Words

- Asian Tribune -

My Way: Silvio Berlusconi sets the record straight with own biography
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