Silvio Berlusconi's antics: The return of Ruby | The EconomistEarlier today Italy’s beleaguered prime minister learnt that prosecutors in Milan had formally made him a suspect in an investigation into alleged juvenile prostitution. Although the age of consent in Italy is 14, it is an offence to pay for sex with a prostitute aged under 18. According to a statement from Milan’s chief prosecutor, Mr Berlusconi is thought to have done just that. He is also suspected of abusing his position, a crime under Italian law.
Mr Berlusconi is suspected of having sexual relations with an underage prostitute between February and May last year. That is when, by her own admission, a then 17-year-old Moroccan girl, Karima el-Mahroug (pictured), attended parties at the prime minister's villa near Milan. Ms el-Mahroug, who also goes by the name of Ruby Rubacuori ("Ruby Heartstealer"), had run away from her home in Sicily and become an exotic dancer in Milan nightclubs.
Silvio Berlusconi is a dirty old man...but in his defense, I'd do her.
It looks like this may be the end of his political career. He's come back from scandals many times before, but it's questionable if he can survive this. He wasn't particularly popular even before he was named a suspect; this is just the nail in the coffin.
If Berlusconi resigns or is forced out, his untimely departure from the political scene might shake up global politics. He's the most senior G8 leader, and would pass that baton off to Angela Merkel. According to Wikileaks, he was Vladimir Putin's foothold into Western Europe. The next Italian PM might not be so pro-Russian.