Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi allegedly used state aircraft to fly in escort girls to his private parties. That’s according to transcripts of wiretaps published by Italian media over the weekend.
In one call, Berlusconi is said to have bragged to businessman friend Gianpaolo Tarantini that 11 girls waited for sex outside his bedroom. But the premier lamented that he could only sleep with eight because “you can’t do them all”. He also discussed using government planes to fly the women in for his gatherings.
Tarantini is in custody in Naples, accused of supplying call girls to Berlusconi and trying to extort money from the premier in exchange for his silence.
Prostitution is not a crime in Italy but exploiting prostitutes is.
Milan daily Corriere della Sera quoted the Italian prime minister as telling Tarantini that he had to go to Milan that evening because the plane was only available at that time. He then purportedly agreed to the entrepreneur and some of the escorts joining him on that flight from Rome to Milan.
Responding to the latest scandal, Pierferdinando Casini of the centrist UDC party said Berlusconi should resign.
“He should let Italy be ruled by someone who believes in her,” Casini said.
Even long-time Berlusconi ally, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi, says it is unlikely that the prime minister will see out his full term until 2013.
Prosecutors in Naples have given Berlusconi until tonight to give a statement as an alleged victim of Tarantini’s blackmail.
The billionaire tycoon has always denied paying for sex.