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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 26 March, 2019

Berlusconi: 'Italy makes me feel like puking'

A phone call allegedly between Berlusconi and a magazine editor has surfaced in which the Italian Premier says Italy makes him “feel like puking”.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi
Image: Gregorio Borgia/AP/Press Association Images

ITALIAN PREMIER SILVIO Berlusconi has been caught on tape saying that Italy makes him “feel like puking”.

Business Insider reports that Berlusconi was recorded in conversation with online newspaper editor Valter Lavitola on 13 July of this year.

It is alleged Berlusconi said:

I’m so transparent, so clean in everything I do. There’s nothing I could be reproached for. I don’t do anything that could be seen as a crime. People can say I f*** but that’s all they can say.
I couldn’t give a f***. In a few months I’m going to go away and mind my own f***** business. I’m leaving this s*** country that makes me feel like puking.

AFP say that Lavitola is now wanted by police.

Italian police arrested businessman Giampaolo Tarantini yesterday on charges of allegedly extorting money from Berlusconi.

He and his wife Angela Devenuto were picked up by police in Rome yesterday morning.

Tarantini admitted he paid a number of prostitutes to attend parties in Berlusconi’s home but that the Premier didn’t know.

They say he tried to extort money to ensure the man’s cooperation in a probe over recruiting the prostitutes.

Naples prosecutor Francesco Greco said that Berlusconi had paid the Tarantini family’s legal and housing costs.

Greco allegedthat the payment was aimed at ensuring that Tarantini enters a plea bargain rather than letting the case go to trial.

This would limit the publication of possibly embarrassing telephone intercepts concerning the women who went to Berlusconi’s parties.

Greco didn’t specify the amount paid, but the Panorama news magazine, which broke news of the investigation last week, said Tarantini received euro500,000 ($722,000) and subsequent monthly payments from the premier.

“I helped someone and a family with children who found themselves and continue to find themselves in very serious financial difficulty,” Berlusconi was quoted as saying by Panorama, a magazine in his media empire.

I didn’t do anything illegal, I limited myself to helping a desperate man without asking for anything in exchange. That’s how I’m made and nothing will change that.

Lavitol is the alleged middleman in this case.

Berlusconi is on trial in Milan for allegedly paying a 17-year-old for sex at some of his parties. He denies the allegations.

- Additional reporting by Associated Press

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