Berlusconi begins community service

2014-05-09 12:34
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cesano Boscone - Italy's Silvio Berlusconi began community service for tax fraud on Friday in a spectacular fall from grace for the flamboyant ex-premier, who will likely seek political gain from the symbolic punishment.

The billionaire tycoon, who was convicted last year and has been expelled from parliament, has been ordered to work once a week for up to a year as a volunteer in a hospice for Alzheimer's patients near Milan.

"To prison!" a trade unionist protester in a clown hat shouted, as Berlusconi arrived at the clinic with his security detail in a chauffeur-driven car, wearing a blue suit with an Italian flag badge.

"We Italian workers have one dream in our hearts: Berlusconi in San Vittore!" he shouted, referring to a Milan prison, before being led away by police.


The Catholic Church-run hospice in Cesano Boscone has said it will not allow Berlusconi to use his stint for political grandstanding in front of the world's media and will treat him like any other volunteer.

The disgraced politico has dominated Italian politics for two decades and is leading a campaign for European Parliament elections, despite being barred from running and his party is expected to get 20% of the vote.

Massimo Restelli, head of the hospice's care services, told the La Repubblica daily that Berlusconi's introduction would be "gradual" so that he and the elderly patients can get used to each other.

"We ask everyone including Berlusconi to observe, to listen and not to get performance anxiety," he said, adding that the media magnate would be accompanied at all times by a medical worker specialised in Alzheimer's.


Berlusconi himself has said in interviews that he has a "big surprise" in store and has hinted that this could involve a deeper commitment to Alzheimer's sufferers.

The sentence is seen as part of a slow-moving disintegration of Berlusconi as a political force, with his Forza Italia party divided by bickering and top allies indicted for mafia ties and corruption.

It was Berlusconi's first definitive criminal conviction and could herald more legal troubles ahead as he appeals a sentence for abuse of power and having sex with an underage prostitute.

He is also a defendant in a trial for bribing a former left-wing senator to undermine a rival party in power at the time.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    italy
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks more focused after Japan shock
Ireland recall Toner, Healy for France
LIVE: New Zealand v Tonga
Pumas, Namibia make 11 changes each
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.