The European Parliament

by Kenneth Anderson

I realize it’s very down-market to interrupt the serious intellectual discussion of Kal’s outstanding book with something is superficial as this – and I can’t plead any important and worthy policy issue, as with Deborah’s very interesting post – but I’m afraid I must ask our European readers whether the following reported rumor could possibly be true.  It concerns Prime Minister Berlusconi, a prostitute, and … a seat in the European Parliament – something we lawyers call a quid pro quo.  I redact, this being a family-friendly blog and all, everything below from The Awl.  I make no claim about veracity (however, it has now been picked up by the BBC with more detail, thanks Martin the comments):

Patrizia D’Addario … finally explains exactly why she upset enough to come forth with her story:

He didn’t pay me, but he promised to send me two people to take care of a problem I had with planning permission which was blocking a building project. To me that was equal to earning €2,000 extra. That project was really close to my heart and he understood that, so I was satisfied. But that is not what happened. Instead he offered me a seat in the European Parliament.

The European Parliament?

(I admit, I feel a little sheepish at cluttering up OJ with this kind of trivia.  On the other hand, governance issues of the European Union is our kind of topic, and I was struck by the fact that, if true as recounted, Ms D’Addario would find being a MEP so much less attractive than getting a zoning permit.  Perhaps I misunderstand the nature and extent of rent-seeking in Italy?  Still, I would guess that most readers of OJ, me included, would vastly prefer being an MEP.  And anyway, don’t MEP’s get to charge a lot of expenses and stuff to Brussels?  Did Ms. D’Addario make an economic miscalculation here, if this story is true?  Did Berlusconi actually offer to do her a big favor?)

HT Kaus.

6 Responses

  1. Although it has yet to be proven that Berlusconi offered a place in the  list of his political party to the European Parliament Elections to Patrizia D’Addario, it is true that, in first place he filled up the list with models, or “velline” as they say in Italian.  However, after the criticism he received for that decision he changed the composition of the lists, taking out most of the models/politicians.  So, even if she had accepted, it would have been rather improbable to have seen this lady as a MEP. First, because I doubt that she would have gone in one of the first positions, so she would not have been elected.  And second because the criticisms aimed towards this practice would have made Berlusconi to  leave her out of the electoral list.

    What it is proven is that Patrizia D’Addario apart from prostitute was a member of Berlusconi’s list in Puglia. It is supposed that this was offered to her as way of payback for no being able to grant her the construction permit.

    From what we have been hearing in Italy over the last months, it looks like Berlusconi makes only two types of presents to the girls he gets laid with: a small butterfly covered in diamonds, or a political position.

    Best wishes,

  2. Se non è vero, è molto ben trovato… No, it actually seems true. Also, there is unchallenged audio evidence that he told her to wait for him in the bed where Putin just slept…also a suggestion to frequently touch herself and many party pictures from the Berlusconi Villa

  3. Indeed, the ‘rumors’ seem to be founded except that:
    – She’s not called ‘D’Addariot’, but ‘D’Addario’; D’Addariot remarkably sounds like a mixture between French and Italian;
    – She was not offered a seat at the EU Parliament, just a chance to be in the list.

    If you speak to fellow Italians, they do not seem to be  that interested in the issues of exploitation which nearly always are involved in prostitution. Italy being a strong prostitution ‘market’, Italians identify, if not admire him: there was a running joke during the Clinton saga that Italians would not have impeached our President, but given him even more votes and a congratulatory letter.

    Some Italians do not even care about the intrinsic hypocrisy of someone whose political party is a Family-Law-and-Order kind of thing and then is rumoured to organize such jolly parties. The typical response is ‘he can do what he wants in his private life’.

    Fair enough (perhaps); but it is certainly worrying that D’Addario could walk in the private residence of the President with a tape recorder: our secret services should definitely know better than that. (James Bond scenarios spring to mind).

  4. One of the disadvantages of a list system is that it gives the party leadership a great deal of power. Then again, that is also one of the advantages, because it means parties are more internally coherent, with tougher party discipline.

  5. The story has now been picked up by the BBC.

  6. And apparently this blog post has been picked up by a porn site – let me try deleting – you have no idea how many ten year olds faithfully read OJ.  

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