I'm just back from Italy where the streets are plastered with images of that country's charismatic Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. My guide (and Italian resident) tells me that while Italians may not approve of Silvio's politics, there's a certain admiration for his chutzpah (what's the Italian word for chutzpah?) there that helps him stay in power. In Berlusconi's most recent outrageous remarks, he compared himself to Jesus. And his media empire remains a subject of constant scrutiny and conversation.
From My Life in Italy:
The current prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, isn't a stranger to corruption or bribing judges. In addition to being prime minister, Berlusconi also owns three television stations, and is first shareholder of the Italian football team, A.C. Milan. He is also founder and first shareholder of Fininvest, a large Italian company dealing with media and financial business. Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's richest man, and the world's 25th richest man, with assests worth $12 billion.
For a longer post about why Berlusconi matters, go to Global Clashes.