Buffoon Berlusconi Berates Bosses
Berlusconi, complaining of lumbago (not the first blatenly obvious false pretext for a no-show), at first refused an invitation to join prominent politicians in taking questions from a Confindustria-sponsored panel of Italian entrepreneurs at the Vicenza Fairgrounds on Saturday. As the the panel was gearing up, Berlusconi arrived unannounced by helicopter and entered the forum feigning a limp and surrounded by a dozen security guards and an equal number of hangers-on. (Earlier in the day, the organizers had noticed a suspicious spike in conference attendence). Berlusconi plants in the front row stood up and cheered as the Premier mounted the stage and demanded a microphone. No sooner did he have the mike in his hands when he spryly jogged to the front of the podium and berated the audience. "You should be home at work", thundered Berlusconi, instead of wasting your time with these dead-ender organizers and whiney industrialists.
The crowd was packed Mussolini-style with plants, who cheered the Premier after every single red-baiting remark. Most of the audience sat in stoney silence. But as Berlusconi sat back down, the hall thundered with boos and whistles which the B-goons were unable to stifle.