Arrivederci, Signore Berlusconi

  The time has finally come for Silvio Berlusconi to hike up his €2,500 trousers and leave Italia, never to be heard from again. For those who are out of loop, Berlusconi is the beleaguered prime minister of Italy, who announced Wednesday that he will resign his post at the end of this month. He is, in my humble opinion, one of the foulest creatures ever to inhabit the earth. From his sleazy smirk to his history of sex scandals, the man reeks of greed and corruption. Personality aside, Berlusconi’s track record is anything but clean. Over the course of his three terms as prime minister — a total of nine years in office, he has been accused of embezzlement, bribing judges, false accounting, tax evasion, collaboration with the Mafia and abuse of office. In fact, he has faced charges 28 times since he first ran for office in 1994, according to TIME magazine. Amazingly, this slippery man has never served jail time. Coincidence? I think not. Being Italy’s third richest man has its perks – the best lawyers money can buy are at his disposal. It’s not like Berlusconi’s infractions have gone unnoticed. Before he announced his resignation, six of his previous allies in Parliament called for him to step down, and he faced 51 votes of confidence dating back to 2008. What makes Berlusconi even more repulsive are his public gaffes. In 2009, he addressed victims of the Abruzzo earthquake by saying, “Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping.” Last year he advised women seeking financial stability at a political rally to, “look for a wealthy boyfriend. This suggestion is not unrealistic.” What is this man’s problem? These are not even the worst of his ramblings that he has said over the years. Phone calls recorded from his private jet and chauffeured cars have revealed his womanizing ways and his disdain for his country. If all Berlusconi wants to do with his title is sunbathe while accompanied by scantily clad women, he’ll now have the time to do it. I can think of many people who are better suited for his job. While Berlusconi has been living “la dolce vita”, Italy has been sinking deeper into a recession. The government’s debt is growing while the economy is dwindling. The BBC announced that Italy’s average growth rate over the past 15 years has been 0.75 percent.  Thankfully, Italy has decided it’s time to take out the trash. Berlusconi has had a long run in power and has clearly had fun during his time in office. Italy needs more than an overgrown imbecile to lift the country out of the trenches of economic recession. The heart of the matter is that Italy needs a change in leadership. Berlusconi’s sexist, uninformed remarks, and the scandals that pervade the Italian press have long ceased to be amusing. With the changing landscape of the European Union, there has bever been a better time to oust the unscrupulous cockroach. If nothing else, I think this Berlusconi quote says it all: “Ladies, I have a mission for you on election day: Cook. Sweet and exquisite things, please. Bring them to the polling station to be examined. The boldest can try making a tart, the most skillful, profiteroles.” It’s about time that Berlusconi is gone. As for his future, I spy a jail cell with his name on it with no pastries in sight.