There is an outcry over controversial comments from the Italian Prime Minister, who compared himself to the facist dictator Mussolini.
The centre-left opposition has condemned remarks made by Silvio Berlusconi at an OECD media conference in Paris. He lamented that he has never had the feeling of being in power.
He said: “I will dare to quote to you a phrase from someone considered a dictator, a great, powerful dictator, Benito Mussolini. In his diary, I recently read the phrase: they say I have power. It isn’t true. Maybe my party officials do. But I don’t know. All I can do is say to my horse go right or left. And I have to be happy with that.”
Berlusconi has often found himself in hot water over jokes and outspoken comments on topics from sex to religion. In 2003 he was quoted as saying that Mussolini was a benign figure who “never killed anyone”.