While Silvio Berlusconi recovers in a Milan hospital, his ordeal has whipped up a storm of outrage across Italy. The prime minister has suffered months of attacks in the media over his private life. His supporters say his critics have now gone too far.
“Our prime minister has been subjected to an act of physical violence which follows months of verbal, written and televised attacks on him, said politician Fabrizio Cicchitto, a Berlusconi supporter.”
The opposition hit back, Nicola La Torre saying the suggestion that the Left is responsible for the attack is cynical and unacceptable.
News travels fast in 2009, and soon after the attack computer gamers were able to re-stage the events on the internet. Within hours it had claimed nearly 40,000 hits.
Unlike many world leaders, President Obama for example, Silvio Berlusconi does not have a personal bodyguard when he meets voters. Security is usually the responsibility of local police, in this case the Milan force, and questions are sure to be asked.