The following article, by Bruce Johnston, was found in the May 11th Calgary Herald:
Embattled Italian PM Berlusconi 'not having fun'
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's embattled prime minister and the country's most powerful media tycoon, has made a controversial bid for public sympathy by lamenting the "sacrifices'' he has made to stay in office.
"I'm not having fun at all,'' Berlusconi declared Saturday.
He complained that, in the two years since he came to power, he had barely set foot in his favourite holiday homes around the world and had spent only a single day on his private yacht, which he bought from fellow tycoon Rupert Murdoch.
"My life has changed,'' said Berlusconi, a swashbuckling free marketeer identified as the world's third most powerful billionaire by Forbes magazine last year, with an estimated fortune of $8.7 billion. "The quality has become terrible. What a brutal job.''
Berlusconi's comments came at the end of a week in which he made an unprecedented courtroom appearance to contest corruption charges.
His decision to speak out appears to be part of an effort to portray himself as the persecuted saviour of Italian democracy.
Berlusconi said his priority was to continue to lead Italy's centre-right coalition government, to help bring stability to a country that has seen 55 different administrations in the past 58 years, and to see off the threat from the left.
"Otherwise, there would be no freedom in Italy,'' he said.
He is the only person capable of doing this, he added.
"There is no one else in Italy today. It's a question I keep asking myself: 'How much longer do I have to keep living this life of sacrifices?' '' -----
This story just chokes me up. Please excuse me, I need to find a Kleenex (sob)
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