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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:

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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)

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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)

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)

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