Silvio Berlusconi’s image as a charismatic tycoon may have been wrecked by the latest scandal to engulf him but the Italian Prime Minister has gone on the offensive over claims he paid for sex with an under-age prostitute.
Magistrates have summoned the Italian prime minister for questioning later this week in a scandal splashed across national newspapers.
He denies the allegations and is ready to put up a fight.
“I would like to go on trial immediately,“ he said in a televised address. But Berlusconi added that he was ready to go ahead “with impartial judges, not with prosecutors who want to use this as a political fight.”
But, as the media mogul pledged new laws to stop magistrates pursuing elected officials, it seems this is one scandal too many for some.
“Honestly I don’t think this is the behaviour a prime minister should have,” said Rome resident Lorenzo Bertuccio. “He should resign.”
“He is at the end of the road, in the sense that we are tired of him,” said Franco Marini, who also lives in the capital.
Berlusconi, 74, has come under pressure to quit amid claims he paid for sex with a 17-year-old nightclub dancer known as “Ruby Heartstealer.”