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Italy’s Berlusconi mobilises media empire behind his presidential bid

Italy’s {previous} {Primary} Minister Silvio Berlusconi speaks to {users|people|associates} of the {press|mass media} after he voted in Italian elections for mayors and councillors, in Milan, Italy, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

January 14, 2022

By Gavin Jones

ROME (Reuters) – Former {Primary} Minister Silvio Berlusconi {will be} galvanising his {press|mass media} empire behind his {strategy|marketing campaign|advertising campaign} to {turn out to be} Italy’s president this {30 days}, a {shift} reviving dormant but unresolved {issues|worries|problems} about conflict of {attention|curiosity}.

The 85-year-old billionaire {press|mass media} tycoon, who {offered} four {conditions} as premier, {may be the} formal {applicant} of Italy’s centre-{perfect|ideal|best} alliance and {settings|handles} three national television {stations}, a daily newspaper {and many} magazines.

{Numerous|Several|A lot of} commentators say Berlusconi’s {history} – he {has been|had been} convicted of {taxes} fraud and {kept} “bunga bunga” sex {events|celebrations} – make him a {definately not} ideal candidate, and {in writing|in some recoverable format} he lacks the {wide} parliamentary backing {needed}.

{However}, shrugging off these {issues|worries|problems} and {current|latest} chronic {health issues}, Berlusconi has {released} a media campaign {similar to} {the ones that} helped him {earn} three {nationwide} elections.

Voting among {a lot more than} 1,000 parliamentarians and regional delegates {starts} on Jan. 24 and {he could be} trying to {earn} the backing of {ratings} of unaffiliated deputies and senators who {may potentially} get him {in to the} presidential palace.

{Despite the fact that} he {doesn’t need} the votes of the Italian {general public|open public}, Berlusconi hopes that {developing a} groundswell of {general public|open public} {viewpoint} behind his candidacy {may help} convince lawmakers to {back again} him.

“He {really wants to} {develop|create|construct} momentum, it’s {not really} strictly {required} but he {obviously} thinks {it could be} {helpful},” said Daniele Albertazzi, {a politics professor at Britain’s Surrey University who has {carefully} followed Berlusconi’s career.|a politics professor at Britain’s Surrey University who {offers|provides} followed Berlusconi’s career closely.}

For {several weeks|days}, Berlusconi’s Mediaset television {stations} have been {advertising|marketing} his presidential ambitions, highlighting his {characteristics} and achievements and ignoring blemishes {such as for example} an ongoing {test|demo} for allegedly bribing witnesses in a {lawful} case, {{where} he denies the {costs|fees}.|{where the} charges {are usually} denied by him.}

{thursday

On,} his family-{possessed} newspaper Il Giornale ran a full-page advertisement entitled “{Who’s} Silvio Berlusconi … who {much better than} him?”

It {presented|highlighted} a decades-old {picture|photograph|image} of the {previous} premier and {a summary of} 22 of his {features} and supposed accomplishments.

{

The {characteristics} include being “{an excellent} and generous person,|

The {characteristics} include {becoming|getting} “a generous and good person,}” “{a pal} {of everybody}, enemy of {nobody|no-one},” and “a self-made {guy}, an example {for several} Italians.”

{One of is own} listed achievements is “{closing} the Cold {Battle}”. Others, {though inaccurate factually,} include “founding commercial {tv} in {European countries}” and {becoming|getting} president of “the club {which has} won {almost all|nearly all} in {the annals} of world {soccer}”.

CONFLICT OF {Attention|Curiosity} DEBATE

Since {getting into} politics in 1994, Berlusconi has {already been} accused of {making use of} his media {to market} his political fortunes and {making use of} his political {capacity to} defend his media {passions}.

However, when {it had been} in power, {the centre-left {didn’t} change the law {to handle} the problem,|the centre-left {didn’t} change the statutory {legislation|regulation} {to handle} the problem,} {possibly fearful of a fierce {response} from Berlusconi’s {company} empire.|fearful of a fierce {response} from Berlusconi’s {company} empire possibly.}

Modest legislation on conflict of {attention|curiosity} was {authorized|accepted} by Berlusconi himself in 2004. {Though {this is} widely deemed inadequate,|Though {this is} deemed inadequate widely,} {it {hasn’t} been toughened.|{it’s been} toughened never.}

“Everyone {believed} Berlusconi was {out from the|from the} picture after 2011 {so the} conflict of {attention|curiosity} debate just {faded out},” {stated|mentioned} pollster and political analyst Lorenzo Pregliasco.

{

“{That’s} quite typical of {just how} Italian politics works,|

“{That’s} typical of {just how} Italian politics works {very},} {only considering {a concern} when there is {an instantaneous} visible emergency.|{just} considering an presssing issue {if you find} {an instantaneous} visible emergency.}”

({Modifying} by Timothy Heritage)

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