Silvio Berlusconi has launched a scathing attack on the foreign press at the end of a tumultuous week for the Italian prime minister.
Already dogged by accusations of sex with prostitutes, Berlusconi’s own law giving him immunity from prosecution was declared invalid by Italy’s top court. He told a rally for his People of Freedom Party that foreign newspapers had made “absurd and ridiculous accusations that damage the image of the country.” He added, using terms that are unsuitable for broadcast, that the accusations badmouth Italy, its prime minister, and its democracy. The Constitutional Court’s decision to invalidate the immunity law is supported by nearly six in ten Italians, according to opinion polls on Sunday morning. But only a quarter of people asked thought there should be elections to cut short Berlusconi’s term of office, which is due to end in 2013. The verdict paves the way for the resumption of trials against him relating to allegations of bribery and false accounting at his Mediaset company.