Italian prime minister in deep water

Rather than Italy being worried about issues in the Middle East and their position on NATO interference in Libya, the whole country seems to be focused on their prime minister. Silvio Berlusconi has been accused of numerous conflicts of interest that are blemishing his political career. Over his years of political limelight in Italy, numerous trials and allegations have been made against him for acts such as bribery and tax evasion. Lately, Mr. Berlusconi has made headlines for even more drastic accusations.

The most recent scandal involves Karima el-Mahroug. El-Mahroug visited Mr. Berlusconi’s villa outside of Milan and was later accused of being a prostitute for the prime minister. Both parties have denied that she was a prostitute, but the trial will reconvene on May 31. With such an outlandish crime overwhelming the countries prime minister, the repercussions for Italy have proved daunting. Divided support has caused turmoil while Italy’s power on the world stage has diminished.

Considering the economic crisis throughout Europe, the personal status of one’s prime minister should be the least of the country’s worries. Furthermore, Italy’s job market is slim and their overall GDP is consistently below the European average. Especially with the crisis in Libya, oil prices are feared to increase exponentially with 10 percent of Italy’s oil and gas being imported from the conflict infested country. This also proves to be skeptical regarding Berlusconi’s close relations with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Berlusconi’s finance minister Giulio Tremonti is doing his best to allow public finances to seem favorable for Italy, but the facts and numbers make it a very difficult task.

Moreover, severe trials still await the prime minister. The David Mill’s scandal has yet to reach trial for Berlusconi, but since Mill’s was found to be guilty, the outlook for Berlusconi seems quite dim. Mills was accused of accepting a bribe of 400,000 Pounds in return for witness evidence readily available to the prime minister. The prosecutors have not yet pinned Berlusconi down as the direct influence, but the trial has yet to commence. One chance the prime minister has is if the statute of limitations has met its mark by the time he is tried. This would lead to the release of Mills along with internal reforms looking to be made in Berlusconi’s favor,and making sure that the statute of limitations has met its expiration prior to any verdict.

Even though Berlusconi may get off with each clean accusation, this issue has still consumed most of his career and left him with a bad rapport amongst Italians, as well as the rest of the world. Also, in times of such economic trouble, the country does not need their leader on trial for sex scandals and bribery charges. Whether or not the prime minister will make it out unscathed is unknown. The result could very well be in his favor, but these needless trials could surely keep him from reelection.