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Berlusconi says he can't find qualified women?

Okay, this simply can't go unblogged! I almost choked on my coffee this morning, as I read an editorial in the Financial Times of London quoting Italy's incoming Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's musings about the shortage of Italian women qualified to hold office.

I would suggest HE isn't fit to hold office -- which was actually the point of the FT opinion piece. Berlusconi, who is a known chauvinist, really isn't wrapping himself in glory by any means, with ridiculous statements that would cost a politician his job in most any other G7 country.

I realize it might not be appropriate for me, an outsider, to pass judgment on another country's leader. Especially Italy, because I love so many things about Italy and wish that I could live there. But, the many nutty things that Berlusconi says and does just can't be ignored.

Indeed, Berlusconi started this himself, by mocking Spain's new government under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as “too pink.” That is to say, Berlusconi thinks that there are far too many women in cabinet under Zapatero, who has called himself a feminist.

Berlusconi went on to tell a radio station this week: “Zapatero has formed a government that is too pink, something that we cannot do in Italy because there is a prevalence of men in politics and it isn’t easy to find women who are qualified.”

Zapatero has made equal rights for men and women a centrepiece of his first term in office, passing a law making it compulsory for electoral lists and even Spanish company boards to be composed of at least 40 per cent women. He recently suggested he would go even further in his next government by naming more women than men to cabinet.

Said Berlusconi: “Now he’s asked for it...He (Zapatero) will have problems leading them.” Presumably, all those women.

It's my understanding that these comments have outraged Spain but aren't widely known in Italy. Perhaps because Berlusconi owns most media outlets at home.

Actually, Berlusconi has been on a rhetorical tear before he even takes office for the third time. Today's edition of the Globe and Mail's Report on Business section quotes Berlusconi as suggesting it's time Italy dropped the euro. Now, I realize that the European Central Bank, the common currency and so on are easy scapegoats for Italy's new president, especially at a time when his country's GDP growth is almost flat. And he's complained before about the ECB.

But his musings just aren't responsible. Or of any help to Italy and Italians.

Comments (10)

Did you read during the election that Berlusconi was quoted as saying that right-wing women politicians are better looking? Google it. You will find some incredible stories on this.

I confess to me mystified by Italian politics. Now I understand that we only get snippets of information across the pond but what I read just makes me shake my head.

I'll gladly send them Maxime Bernier, Stephen Harper, Jim Flaherty, and Ralph Klein to help lead the way. Oh - I guess we had better not - I'd like to return to Italy and enjoy myself!


Girasoli, I had almost forgotten that comment! And the one about how women supporters could help campaigns by baking cakes. I'm never sure if he says these things because he thinks they're funny, or if he deliberately wants his opponents to think he's an idiot and under-estimate him. Probably a bit of both.

Jerry, it would be great if we didn't have to deal with those four rogues that you've mentioned -- although at least 3 of them are taking care of destroying their own careers themselves!

I think he believes them! I did not hear the one about baking cakes. Whenever I see his photo or see him on tv, I think of Bush (since they are such great buddies) and that is not a pretty thought!


WEll, I'm not sure I'm in a position to comment. Afterall, the leader of my country, said "Awesome speech" to the Pope!!! Is that the best he can do??? Jerry has a countdown for his vacation, I think I need one to November 4.

Baking cakes? Too pink?!? Talk about being about a half century behind the times!

Interesting post - I didn't know about the new guy in Spain - that's impressive!


Kim, what are your travel plans? Heading back to Italy? I'd like to get a countdown monitor, too.

Girasoli, Bush and Berlusconi really are a good match!

Annie, I like what I've read about the Spanish Prime Minister, he'll be interesting to watch.

The countdowns are so easy to make. you just put in the date/times, select the colours and it does all the code for you. All you need to do is copy and paste and voila - you have a counter!


Thanks, Jerry, I'm going to give that a try when I get a bit closer to the date. My vacation is still about 16 weeks away, and so large a number probably looks a bit pathetic....but at about 30 days, I'm putting the counter up!


Sandra, November 4 is election day :D. But we are leaving November 5th for Italy.

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