15 Settembre 2009

VISTO DA FUORI 4, DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Italy’s speaker to sue Silvio Berlusconi newspaper”

ARTICOLO TRATTO DA Telegraph.co.uk
By Nick Squires in Rome
Published: 6:21PM BST 15 Sep 2009

Tratta da: www.repubblica.it
Foto a cura della redazione del NuovoSoldo
tratta da www.repubblica.it

Gianfranco Fini, Italy's speaker of parliament, has announced that he is suing a newspaper owned by Silvio Berlusconi's family over allegations of involvement in a sex scandal

Gianfranco Fini, 57, is a key ally of the Italian prime minister but his relations with Mr Berlusconi, 72, are now severely strained over a threat by Il Giornale to go public with the unspecified sleaze allegations.

The newspaper's editor, Vittorio Feltri, wrote an editorial on Monday in which he said Mr Fini should fall back into line with the governing People of Freedom Party or risk acute embarrassment.

Mr Fini merged his right-wing National Alliance party with Mr Berlusconi's Forza Italia bloc earlier this year but the pair have since clashed over a number of issues, including Mr Berlusconi's philandering and Italy's hardline immigration policy.

"It would be enough to fish out a 2000 dossier regarding figures in the National Alliance to raise a scandal," Mr Feltri wrote. "Better to let sleeping dogs lie."

Mr Feltri also suggested that Mr Fini was trying to "dethrone" the prime minister and replace him. Mr Fini's supporters condemned the broadside as a "mafia-style" threat.

Last week Il Giornale, which is owned by Mr Berlusconi's brother, accused Mr Fini of being "ridiculous" and of pandering to the Italian Left in the hope of furthering his political ambitions.

Mr Fini is at odds not only with Mr Berlusconi but also the next most important figure in the coalition, Northern League leader Umberto Bossi.

The billionaire prime minister's extraordinary control over the Italian media came under scrutiny after the evening television schedule was altered to give him greater coverage.

Mr Berlusconi was due to appear on Tuesday evening on a programme about the handing over of around 100 temporary homes to victims of the earthquake that hit the Abruzzo region in April.

A talk show on which he was to be interviewed, which usually airs late at night, was brought forward to ensure a bigger audience.

The state-owned Rai channel then pulled the plug on a rival talk show whose guests are often critical of Mr Berlusconi.

An opposition MP, Giuseppe Giulietti, said the changes were proof that Italian television executives were forced to "genuflect before the sole master".