Feature

Italy: Berlusconi rises to the tragic occasion

Ever since the earthquake in northern Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been visiting practically every crumbled church and tattered village and offering advice and cheer, said Julius M&uuml;ller-Meiningen in the<strong> &lt

Julius Müller-MeiningenBerliner Zeitung (Germany)

Italy’s prime minister is “everywhere at once,” said Julius Müller-Meiningen. Ever since an earthquake in northern Italy last week killed nearly 300 people and left thousands homeless, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been ubiquitous, visiting practically every crumbled church and tattered village and offering advice and cheer. He is simultaneously “insurance agent, fireman, engineer, psychologist, and chief mourner.” It’s almost as if he is determined to embody “the direct opposite of George W. Bush’s disastrous apathy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.”

And the Italians are eating it up. They forgive Berlusconi his gaffes, such as when he told earthquake victims huddling in a makeshift shelter that they should “consider the experience a free camping trip.” Such a tone-deaf suggestion would prompt outrage here in Germany and might even bring calls for the speaker’s resignation. But in Italy, the prime minister’s “frivolity” is seen as charming, even uplifting. Italians, after all, admire enthusiasm—and right now, they are grateful for their “comedian in chief.”

Recommended

Great Britain has its 1st Catholic prime minister. Surprise!
Boris Johnson, Carrie Symonds
Things that make you go hmmmmm...

Great Britain has its 1st Catholic prime minister. Surprise!

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky
Scotch
Slàinte mhath

Biden suspends Trump's 25 percent tariff on Scotch whisky

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
coronavirus crisis

Almost all operations shut down as COVID-19 outbreak hits U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Biden's Putin meeting rehabilitated his image in Russia
Joe Biden
Image upgrade

Biden's Putin meeting rehabilitated his image in Russia

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats