Italian prime minister loses cool with journalist

Belusconi angered by freelance

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lost his temper with a freelance journalist, Rocco Carlomango, at a press conference yesterday and ordered his ejection.

Berlusconi got irritated when Carlomango asked an unscheduled question about the future of Guido Bertolaso, the head of the Civil Protection Agency.

Bertolaso, considered the right hand man of the prime minister, has been accused of accepting bribes in return for public contracts during last year's G8 summit in Italy.

The defence minister Ignazio La Russa grabbed Carlomango by the back of his jacket and asked him to behave.

Though Carlomango was not ejected from the conference, he claimed the defence minister had stabbed him in the chest, and said he would lodge a complaint.

The People of Liberty (PdL), Berlusconi's centre-right party, later said Carlomango is a political activist who entered the conference with false claims.