Dal New York Times:

Decadence and Democracy in Italy

Silvio Berlusconi



Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s career and personal life have caused outrage for as long as he’s been in the public eye. In the latest scandal, wiretapped phone conversations suggest that Mr. Berlusconi has been involved with Karima el-Mahroug, a nightclub dancer, since she was a minor. An investigation has been opened into allegations that Mr. Berlusconi paid Ms. Mahroug and other women for sex.

However, less than 50 percent of Italians are asking for his resignation according to a recent poll. His political future seems, at least for the time being, secure.

Why have Italians — especially the women — tolerated Mr. Berlusconi’s antics for so long? Is there a tipping point for Italians?

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