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11 Unbelievable Quotes From Silvio Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi | © paz.ca / Flickr
Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire businessman and four-time prime minister of Italy, is no stranger to controversy. From infamous ‘bunga bunga’ parties to his extensive ownership of – and therefore influence on – the Italian press, his career has been plagued by scandal. When he was convicted of tax fraud in 2013 many Italians thought they’d seen the last of him but, as demonstrated by the removal of a ban stopping him running for office earlier this year, Berlusconi continues to persist in the political landscape – possibly just to come up with more outrageous comments like these.

“I am the Jesus Christ of politics. I sacrifice myself for everyone.”

By comparing himself to Jesus in 2006 during a party rally, Berlusconi earned criticism from politicians across parties in his native (and highly Catholic) country. Officials at the Vatican chastised Berlusconi, saying such things shouldn’t be taken in jest.

“Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini used to send people on vacation in internal exile.”

Benito Mussolini was the leader of the National Fascist Party and, in 1925, established a dictatorship in Italy. In 1935 he ordered the brutal occupation of Ethiopia, which is considered as one of the precursors to WWII, and his union with Nazi Germany saw Italian Jews persecuted and sent to Hitler’s concentration camps.

“When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, ‘Yes’, while the other 70% replied, ‘What, again?’”

In 2011, when facing allegations of underage sex with a prostitute and abusing his office in the following cover up, Berlusconi joked that a survey revealed his incredible popularity with women.

Berlusconi during a summit in 2011 © European People's Party / Flickr

“I am not a saint, you’ve all understood that.”

As newspapers investigated scandals about high-class escorts and sex tapes, Berlusconi attempted to play down the story by saying he’s no saint – though he didn’t admit to any sins either.

“It’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay.”

Though he has been known to describe himself as a liberal, the octogenarian politician has made a number of anti-gay comments and in 2018 announced his party, Forza Italia, wanted to challenge the law on same-sex civil unions.

“I am without doubt the person who’s been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man.”

Talking about his legal problems, Berlusconi followed this audacious quote by complaining he had spent millions on “judges”, before correcting himself and clarifying he meant to say “lawyers”.

“Their current lodgings are a bit temporary but they should see it like a weekend of camping.”

Berlusconi told survivors of the 2009 Aquila earthquake that they should consider sleeping in emergency tents like a ‘weekend of camping’. Over 300 people died in the disaster and 65,000 were made homeless.

“What’s his name? Some tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama!”

After repeating a line he’d used previously, about the skin colour of the 44th President of the United States, Berlusconi this time doubled down and followed with “You won’t believe it, but two of them went to the beach, because the wife is also tanned.”

“We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation…”

After the September 11 attacks, Berlusconi caused an outcry by declaring Western civilization as superior to the Islamic world. His comments were disparaged as racist, dangerous and as having “crossed the limits of reason and decency.”

“It’s natural that women are happy if a man tries to seduce them.”

Speaking about the sexual harassment debate raised after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Berlusconi said women should be happy if men hit on them. He then clarified that he wasn’t an expert as he rarely had to woo women, who always chase him.

“They’re not gaffes. I’ve made no gaffes.”

When asked about his propensity for making blunderous comments and incendiary remarks, this was Berlusconi’s reply.