Berlusconi's attempt to rejuvenate the politics of Italy unarguably made the it become a mere farce. The tycoon-come-politician's arguably most notable achievements included lowering his nations growth so that Italy only beat Haiti and Zimbabwe, a debt-to-GDP ratio of 120 percent, a ratio beaten in Europe only by Greece, swaggering a lot, oh and recording a CD of love songs.
He was elected three times, according to Gianna Riotta the former editor of Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy's leading buisness paper) this was with the aim "to change Italy and reform the economy". Instead, his voters got sex scandal after sex scandal and a former Miss Italy contestant as their Equal Opportunities minister. Besides fans of AC Milan Football club (he owns the club and collaborated with Tony Renis to write the club's anthem) he also appealed to the anti-Communist majority of Italy, an appeal he appears to be proud of when you consider that he was quoted as describing his country as "Italy is now a great country to invest in...today we have fewer communists. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries".
In fact, it could be argued that the only aspect of the billionaire's political career was his 'success' in objectifying and demeaning just over fifty percent of his population. His views were both inappropriate, he dealt with minors, for instance his attendance at the 18th birthday party of a wannabe lingerie model, but also just plain sexist, something all the more shocking when you consider how he was a figure with great power and influence.
Perhaps the only thing worse than his constant faux pas regarding gender, was the controversy constantly surrounding him regarding the law. He has faced many allegations of cheating taxes and bribery, some of which he is still staring at today, including his supposed offer of $600,000 dollars to David Mills so that he give a false testimony about his use of offshore companies for two corruption cases. When his immunity from prosecution was lifted in 2009 his explanations of what was happening to him was "I am without doubt the person who's been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world". Never a finer use of a hyperbole.
Safe to say, I'm glad for the sake of Italy, women and the current dire state of European finance, that Mr Berlusconi has finally left!