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Berlusconi's glossy reality

160 glossy pages in eleven million copies. Silvio Berlusconi does not save on the confectionery when he wants to tell "The real Italian story".


[italia] "The real Italian story" is the title of the media mogul, multi-millionaire and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sends out to voters before the April 9 and 10 elections. The magazine is full of happy news about how well things have actually gone under Berlusconi's rule.

Great pictures show the statesman along with Bush, Putin and Blair, while giving Bono a hug and while showing his respect for the now deceased Pope John Paul II. “The ego has landed. Again, "commented the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

The charm offensive is needed. In most polls, Berlusconi's center-right alliance is a few percentage points behind former head of the European Commission Romano Prodi and his center-left alliance. A large number of voters have not yet decided.

Also, Berlusconi made a bad figure in the first TV duel against Prodi. Prolonged controversy over politicized media has resulted in this year's two TV duels being edited heavily after the stopwatch.

The rules for the debates have been drawn up in collaboration with the two prime ministers. The pollsters have a maximum of 30 seconds for each question, then the two prime ministers have two and a half minutes to answer, and one minute to comment on each other. 17 million saw the first debate on March 14, and a scarce majority believe Prodi won, writes La Repubblica. "Berlusconi looked like a lion in a cage, and he could not exploit his speech gifts in the scarce format," one commenter writes. The last debate between Prodi and Berlusconi will be held on Monday 3 April.

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