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Berlusconi slams "feminist" judges over huge divorce settlement

posted 9 Jan 2013, 05:28 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 Jan 2013, 05:28 ]

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi tells Italian TV show "feminist and communist" female judges have ordered him to pay his estranged wife 200,000 euros per day as part of a divorce settlement and reiterates he would be better placed as minister of economy than prime minister in new government after elections.

ROMEITALY (JANUARY 8, 2013) (LA7) - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday (January 8) slammed a panel of three "feminist and communist" female judges for ruling that he owed his estranged wife 200,000 euros (260,000 USD) per day as part of a divorce settlement.

On December 28, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said the divorce ruling had been deposited just before Christmas, and that Berlusconi had been ordered to pay Veronica Lario, whom he married in 1990, about 100,000 euros per day.

It was the first time Berlusconi had commented publicly on the settlement. He did not elaborate on the figure and it was not clear whether he might be including back payments that have fallen due since the separation in quoting a higher daily payment than Corriere.

"You are not well-informed. It's actually 200,000," Berlusconi said in an interview on a talk show on the television channel La7, when asked by journalist Lilli Gruber if the amount was 100,000 euros.

"This says a lot about who the Milan judges are. Three female judges," added Berlusconi. "There is still the appeal. Look, this is something outrageous. They are three female judges, feminist and communist. Is that enough for you?"

Berlusconi repeated previous allegations that Milan's judges had been persecuting him since he entered politics in 1994, because they opposed him politically.

In October, a Milan court sentenced him in the first instance to four years in jail for tax fraud, against which he plans to appeal. He is currently on trial for having sex with an under-age prostitute.

The 76-year-old is now running for a fifth term in government in a parliamentary election scheduled for Feb. 24-25.

Berlusconi also reiterated that he would be best placed as minister of economy rather than prime minister.

"The only thing a prime minister can do today in Italy is to present the agenda of the cabinet meetings whereas the economy minister, perhaps with the incorporated responsibilities of the minister of development, has more power to act and that is what we need to do," he said.

Lario filed for divorce from the 76-year-old billionaire in 2009, accusing him of having an affair with a 17-year-old girl.

Berlusconi said he was appealing against the settlement ruling. He also said he might be able to renegotiate amicably with Lario because his current relationship with her was "excellent".