The sex scandal headlines keep on coming, but the Italian Prime Minister remains defiant.
Silvio Berlusconi is facing perhaps his biggest ever political test, with accusations he welcomed escorts into his home. After being forced to deny that he has ever paid a woman for sex, opposition politicians are demanding he resign, while influential Catholic publications are now openly criticising him. One woman in Rome said: “We should all be ashamed to be represented by him.” A man said: “What Berlusconi does in his private time is his own business. The important thing is that he shows he’s honest in how he runs the country.” An investigation is underway into some of the more lurid allegations, denied by Berlusconi, which have emerged in the press in recent weeks. The scandal began with revelations about his friendship with an 18-year-old girl and news that his wife has filed for divorce. Denouncing the claims as part of a smear campaign, Berlusconi has angrily declared that he will not be forced out of office. His centre-right coalition has a majority in both houses of parliament.