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Silvio Berlusconi demands an apology from his -

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Silvio Berlusconi demands an apology from his wife

The World Today - Tuesday, 5 May , 2009 12:50:00

Reporter: Brigid Glanville

PETER CAVE: First he was sad and remorseful, now the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is
angry.

His wife Veronica Lario has begun divorce proceedings, fed up with her husband's reported
philandering with younger women.

In particular, his behaviour at a recent 18th birthday party.

Mr Berlusconi has insisted he was simply friends with the girl's father and he's now demanding a
public apology from his wife.

Brigid Glanville reports.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Silvio Berlusconi is never far from the headlines.

In November last year, he made these comments to the Russian president about the United States
President Barack Obama's skin colour.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI (translated): Certainly, the fact that there is a new generation of politicians -
the one represented by President Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama - is certainly a good starting
point. I told the President that Obama has everything needed in order to reach an agreement with
him. He's young, handsome and even tanned.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: And in April he caused outrage for apparently making a disrespectful comment
about the thousands of survivors of Italy's earthquake.

(Sound of Silvio Berlusconi speaking)

He told a German TV reporter that the 17,000 earthquake survivors should pretend they are on a
camping weekend.

But it's his reported flirtations with young women that often makes the headlines.

Now his wife of 19 years, Veronica Lario, has had enough and has begun divorce proceedings.

Last week La Stampa newspaper quoted her saying:

VOICEOVER VERONICA LARIO: My marriage is over. I can't stay with someone who cavorts with minors.

I read in the papers about how he has been hanging around a minor, because he must have known her
before she was 18. And how she called him 'grandpa' and about their meetings in Rome and Milan.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: That was in response to the Prime Minister's attendance and behaviour at an
18-year-old girl's birthday party.

Mr Berlusconi has appeared sad in statements and said his marriage was going through a rocky
period.

He has now hit back demanding an apology from his wife and doesn't think that they can reconcile.

VOICEOVER FOR SILVIO BERLUSCONI: I don't think so. I don't know if I want it this time.

Veronica will have to publicly apologise to me. And I don't know if that will be enough.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Silvio Berlusconi told an Italian newspaper his wife has been listening to too
many media reports.

VOICEOVER FOR SILVIO BERLUSCONI: Veronica has fallen into a trap. The truth will come out.

BRIGID GLANVILLE: Silvio Berlusconi's comments and flirtations with women have been media fodder in
Italy and Europe for years.

A hero to some, political critics in Italy are now reported to be saying there will be some
political fallout from the scandal.

Something Silvio Berlusconi is now very conscious of.

VOICEOVER FOR SILVIO BERLUSCONI: It's the third time she's done this to me in the middle of an
election campaign. It's too much.

PETER CAVE: A translation from the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, ending that report
from Brigid Glanville.