Sequels to horror movies often begin “just when you thought you were safe.” Cue the eerie music because Silvio Berlusconi is back. He would like to be Prime Minister and he is bringing a friend.
Mr. B is 76 and, for a dreadful period, he has already served as Italy’s Prime Minister. In recent months, Mario Monti has been trying to mop up the mess Mr. B left behind, but Monti is losing his mandate as Italians decide too much austerity is no fun.
The friend is 27-year-old Francesca Pascale of Naples, a councilor (on what?) in Mr. B’s Freedom of the People Party and a founding groupie of an organization called “Silvio, we miss you.” Her experience includes a stint as a shop assistant and what appears to be a heroic collagen treatment.
Tastefully, Mr. B describes his beloved as “a beautiful girl, beautiful from the outside, but even more beautiful inside” leaving little doubt among Italians as to his meaning.
The former Prime Minister and bunga bunga aficionado has introduced his fiancée to his daughter, Marina — born August 10, 1966, making her 46 years old and a prime candidate for the role of “bestie” to a step mother 19 years her junior. That should definitely go well.
In a continuing effort to find the good in everything, Ms. Pascale is older than some in Mr. B’s life. There was, for example, Ruby the Heart Stealer, the Moroccan dancer with whom he is alleged to have paid for sex somewhat before she reached the minimum age required to be an Italian hooker. Charges are pending but, in many cases, prime ministers are immune from prosecution, which goes a long way toward explaining his return to public life.
Should any semblance of austerity continue in Italy, public health officials might do well to consider a reduction in the government-financed Viagra program.