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Silvio Berlusconi says immigrants not welcome but 'beautiful girls' can stay - Telegraph
Silvio Berlusconi has said that while illegal immigrants were not welcome in Italy he would make an exception for "beautiful girls".

The Italian prime minister, who is renowned for making jokes of questionable taste, was speaking to journalists after holding talks with the prime minister of Albania, Sali Berisha.

Mr Berlusconi, 73, said an accord between Italy and Albania had successfully clamped down on the trafficking of illegal immigrants across the Adriatic Sea by people smugglers.

He then joked: "I said to Sali - we'd make exceptions for anyone bringing over beautiful girls." Mr Berlusconi, whose wife is divorcing him for his alleged philandering, also joked with female Albanian journalists: "You know I'm single now."

by Fran on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 01:27:50 PM EST
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FT || Berlusconi aide in corruption probe

Guido Bertolaso, right-hand man to Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's premier, was told by police on Wednesday that he was under investigation in connection with a probe into suspected corruption.

The inquiry related to building of facilities for last year's Group of Eight summit, hosted by Italy.

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Police arrested four people in connection with the investigation, including Angelo Balducci, a senior official in charge of public works. Special carabiniere forces were reported to have searched Mr Bertolaso's home and office. Media reported that more than 20 people were under investigation, including a Rome magistrate.

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 Mr Berlusconi spoke last month of giving Mr Bertolaso the rank of minister, voicing support for his aide just days after he had caused a diplomatic incident by making scathing criticism of the US-led relief effort in Haiti.

The government has tabled legislation that would give greater resources to the Civil Protection agency and change its status. Critics said the reorganisation would provide less transparency in issuing contracts. The centre-left opposition on Wednesday called for the legislation to be put on hold because of the corruption investigation.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Feb 13th, 2010 at 06:52:09 PM EST
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