Sex Scandals Could Finally Fell Italy's Berlusconi

In Europe, the sex lives of politicians rarely create scandals the way they do in the U.S. But the continent's lenience may have finally hit its limit in Silvio Berlusconi's latest antics. The Italian prime minister has shrugged off all sorts of tawdry allegations during his three terms in office, from mafia collusion to bribery. Voters have also turned a blind eye to his former rumored affairs, so a sex scandal seemed like the last thing that would fell the media mogul. But when Berlusconi's wife started divorce proceedings against him this past spring, after he attended the birthday of an 18-year-old lingerie model, the first chinks in his reputation appeared. Then came incriminating photos of orgies at his Sardinian villa and testimony from high-priced call girls that Berlusconi promised them political power in exchange for sex. The trashy details of their leader's libido are starting to grate on ordinary Italians. For the first time, Berlusconi's official approval ratings have dropped below 50 percent. The Vatican has also strongly rebuked him, and the opposition is thundering for his resignation. Looks like Berlusconi's finally crossed a line for tolerant Europe.

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