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Published on Apr 6, 2009
Italian YouTube viewers of this clip brought to our attention that Berlusconi was talking about popular Italian X-Factor presenter Simona Ventura, aka 'La Ventura', as he kept German chancellor Angela Merkel waiting at the start of the NATO summit on the French-German border near Strasbourg. The X-factor in Italy, which airs on Rai2 public tv, is locked in a major ratings battle with the Italian version of Friends, known as Amici, which airs on one of the Mediaset channels. Mediaset is owned by Berlusconi.
From one Italian viewer:
"WHEN HE ARRIVES BY CAR, THE DOOR IS OPEN, A FEW SECONDS BEFORE HE PUTS THE FOOT ON THE GROUND HE SAYS:
"CON LA VENTURA, DEVI MANTENERE I RAPPORTI"
LA VENTURA IS A SHOWGIRL ON THE ITALIAN TELEVISION, EX MEDIASET AND NOW AT RAI (PUBLIC TV). HE IS WORKING ON GETTING HER BACK TO MEDIASET, SINCE SHE IS ENORMOUSLY POPULAR.
SO HE WAS NOT TALKING FOR NATO, HE WAS TALKING FOR MEDIASET, HIS MEDIACOMPANY. AND HE LIED TO THE WORLD ABOUT THAT. HE SHOULD GIVE EXPLANATIONS AND APOLOGY TO THE WORLD FOR THIS. THIS IS A PHONECALL, WHERE THE WHOLE WORLD WAS THE AUDIENCE. HE LIED ABOUT THE CONTENT, AND THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS."
Meanwhile, Berlusconi has fiercely critiziced Italian media for their coverage of the G20 and NATO meetings. Both in London and in Strasbourg, the prime minister behaved like a clown. Queen Elisabeth II apparently told him off for shouting "Obama" during the group photo shoot at Buckingham Palace. Also read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/...