Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
9 November 2011updated 11 Sep 2021 9:28am

Berlusconi gaffes: our top ten

A collection of quotes that make you wonder how the Italian premier survived so long.

By Mike Bonnet

Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has announced that he will step down after a new stability package is approved in parliament. Over the course of his political career, he has come out with a string of gaffes and misguided jokes. We’ve picked our top ten — feel free to share any we’ve left out in the comment box below.

1. On his love of Italy:

In a few months… I’m leaving this shitty country of which I’m sickened. (July 2011)

2. On women:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30% of women said, ‘Yes’, while the other 70% replied, ‘What, again?’ (April 2011)

3. On the L’Aquila Earthquake victims:

Of course, their current lodgings are a bit temporary. But they should see it like a weekend of camping. (April 2009)

Content from our partners
Helping children be safer, smarter, happier internet explorers
Power to the people
How to power the electric vehicle revolution

4. On how tough it is to be a billionaire:

I am without doubt the person who’s been the most persecuted in the entire history of the world and the history of man. (October 2009)

5. On his own sexual abilities:

I only managed to do eight of them, I couldn’t manage any more…You just can’t get round to all of them. But this morning I feel great, I’m pleased with my stamina. (November 2009)

6. On Barack Obama:

Handsome, young and also suntanned. (November 2008)

7. On his personal sacrifice:

I am the Jesus Christ of politics…I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone. (February 2006)

8. On his own record in office:

Only Napoleon did more than I have done. (February 2006)

9. On Mussolini:

Mussolini never killed anyone. Mussolini sent people on holiday in (internal) exile. (September 2004)

10. On balding:

I have little hair because my brain is so big it pushes the hair out. (2001)