Tags: Berlusconi | dancer | envoy | representative

Berlusconi Chooses Dancer as Politcal Envoy

Thursday, 18 Feb 2010 10:49 PM


A former dancer who has no political experience — apart from helping to fix Silvio Berlusconi’s teeth — has been chosen to represent Italy’s ruling party in next month’s regional elections.

The Prime Minister was criticised last year for picking “showgirls” in the European elections but that has not deterred him from selecting Nicole Minetti, who qualified as an oral hygienist in November, to run for the colours of the People of Liberty (PdL) party in Lombardy.

Ms Minetti met Mr Berlusconi while he was being treated in hospital after a mentally disturbed man hurled a souvenir at him in December, gashing his cheek and lips and damaging his teeth. In her previous career she was a dancer on variety shows including Colorado Café, which was broadcast by one of Mr Berlusconi’s commercial television channels.

The PdL list in Lombardy also features Francesco Magnano, a surveyor employed by Mr Berlusconi, and Giorgio Puricelli, the physiotherapist at AC Milan football club, owned by the Prime Minister.

Mr Berlusconi, 73, whose ratings are falling as his centre-right Government is engulfed in a new wave of bribery and sleaze allegations, denied reports this week that he was planning to field “showgirls” with little or no experience in politics. Some of his chosen candidates in the European and local elections last year were described by Veronica Lario, his wife, as “shameless trash”. She subsequently filed for divorce.

Presenting a “pink list” of women candidates for the positions of president of Lazio, Tuscany, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, Mr Berlusconi insisted that they had been chosen for their ability, adding that men were “inferior to women”.

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