Italian Protesters to Toss Panties at Berlusconi


Some Italian women are taking off their panties for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but not quite for the purpose he'd like.

Italian women fed up with their prime minister's womanizing and alleged involvement in a prostitution ring plan to demonstrate Sunday at Berlusconi's mansion outside Milan. But instead of hurling tomatoes, eggs or just insults over the mansion's fence, they've opted for another rather ironic projectile: their underwear.

Sunday's protest is one of several planned for this weekend, as Italians are calling for their prime minister's resignation amid allegations that he paid women for sex at "bunga bunga" parties where they performed stripteases and pole dances.

Filippo Monteforte, AFP / Getty Images
Italian women plan to protest Sunday outside Silvio Berlusconi's Milan mansion amid accusations of womanizing by the prime minister and his alleged involvement in a prostitution ring.
"I'm a woman and I say 'enough,'" many women wrote in messages to an online protest campaign organized by the center-left La Repubblica newspaper, London's Daily Telegraph reported. Others submitted their photos with messages condemning "men who buy and sell women's bodies."

On Tuesday, the only woman in Berlusconi's center-right political party who dared to speak out against his liaisons with very young women said she was being ousted from her job because of her stand.

Sara Giudice, a city council official in Milan, had criticized the prime minister and accused him of giving political jobs to women he was enamored with. She started circulating a petition demanding the resignation of Nicole Minetti, a regional councilor in Lombardy province who is a former TV showgirl and was once Berlusconi's dental hygienist. Prosecutors allege that Minetti helped lure young women into sex parties at the prime minister's homes.

Giudice's petition got nearly 10,000 signatures online. Then officials told her she was being expelled from Berlusconi's political party.

"I have just been told that I will definitely be out," Giudice told Reuters. "They seem to prefer having Minetti."

Sponsored LinksMilan prosecutors said Monday they want to begin trial proceedings against Berlusconi on charges of having sex with minors and aiding prostitution. They said they've prepared more than 600 pages of evidence against the 74-year-old prime minister, Deutsche Welle reported.

Berlusconi has denied the allegations, instead accusing prosecutors of trying to oust him from power.

Organizers of a demonstration planned for Saturday in downtown Milan say they have collected 100,000 signatures by citizens calling for Berlusconi's resignation.

"In no other democratic country would a prime minister, faced with such serious legal accusations, remain in office longer than a few hours," the group said in a statement excerpted by The Telegraph.