Dirty Old Men

Italy’s RubyGate
He’s at it again. (See: Laundelles May 27,2009.) Silvio Berlusconi can’t seem to keep his hands off teenage girls – the latest being an underage runaway from Morocco nicknamed Ruby.

Apparently the girl, whose real name is Karima Keyek  is the daughter of illegal immigrants who do not have residence permits entitling them to live in Italy.

According to a front page story in Corriere della Sera, the prime minister personally ordered police officers in Milan to release Miss Keyek from custody and not to press charges against the 17 year old, who was arrested in May on suspicion of stealing cash and valuables from a female acquaintance in Milan.

Berlusconi allegedly told police that the girl was a relative of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and she was subsequently freed. The blatant  abuse of power that has caused political foes to call for the prime minister’s resignation.

The latest scandal has also added a new word to Italians’ vocabulary – “bunga-bunga”. Miss Keyek reportedly told investigators that she witnessed “erotic rituals” and sex sessions at the dinners she attended, which the prime minister and his friends referred to jokingly as “bunga-bunga” parties – a mysterious group-sex practice supposedly introduced by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. We’ll probably find out more about this in a book the young woman said she plans to write.

But in spite of his many scandals, Berlusconi remains popular.

Author and commentator Beppe Severgnini explains, ”There is a reason Berlusconi remains popular… in fact there are 10. First and foremost, Berlusconi appeals to the Everyman, making a virtue of connection. ‘Mr B. adores his kids, talks about his mamma, knows his football, makes money, loves new homes, hates rules, tells jokes, swears a bit, adores women, likes to party and is convivial to a fault. He has a long memory and a knack for tactical amnesia.”

I guess that pretty much covers it all.

Enjoy Dirty Old Man by the Three Degrees from 1976: