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The Italian job

The Berlusconi soap opera is distracting the country from a much more serious problem

By Madeleine Johnson   March 2011

Women in Italy show their disapproval of Berlusconi—but the country has bigger problems

Whether by design or because of prurience, media coverage of Silvio Berlusconi’s alleged antics at his villa in Arcore has crowded out other issues afoot in Italy—with consequences far more troubling for its economic and democratic health.

Frenzied interest in the prime minister’s sex life, and his upcoming trials for corruption, tax fraud and paying an underage prostitute, have distracted from a problem once again on the rise in Italy: organised crime. On 29th January, Giuseppe Pignatone, chief anti-mafia judge in the southern province of Calabria, said…

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