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Italians for and against Berlusconi plan protests

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Italians for and against Berlusconi plan protests


Hundreds of Italians have gathered in Rome and Milan to call for the resignation of scandal-mired Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The protests, organised by a group of bloggers called the “Purple People”, comes ahead of today’s demonstrations when thousands of women are expected to turn out in 200 cities to slam what they say is his “debasing” of women.

Prosecutors in Milan have requested an immediate trial of Berlusconi based on accusations that the prime minister paid for sex with a nightclub dancer known as “Ruby the Heartbreaker”, who was 17 at the time.

Paying prostitutes for sex is not a crime in Italy, but paying for sex with a woman under 18 is illegal.

They also claim he abused his authority by asking police to release her after she had been arrested for suspected theft last May.

Berlusconi and Ruby deny any wrongdoing.

The 74-year-old former cruise boat crooner still has his backers as pro-Silvio protests are also planned for today.

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