If it wasn’t bad enough that Anna Wintour had already denounced Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as disgusting and embarrassing, a member of one of fashion’s royal families who works for Berlusconi just decided he’s had enough with the guy, too.
Santo Versace, elder brother to designer Donatella Versace and the late Gianni Versace, had until today been a prominent member of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party. But he said in a radio interview that he will put up with the party’s corruption and greed no longer. Santo, who represents the state of Calabria in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, up and quit:
“I like to work. And in (Mr. Berlusconi’s political party), there’s no need for people who work,” said Mr. Versace, who is a major shareholder in the family’s namesake fashion company.
Ouch. We’d be more worried about the People of Freedom Party than we would about Calabria — Santo isn’t leaving government, he’s just not going to caucus with Berlusconi’s people anymore.
So why are so many people up in arms against Berlusconi’s government? Well, in addition to Berlusconi’s infamous “bunga bunga” parties, which in the past have resulted in political appointments for his various (possibly underage) consorts, Italy’s economy is in a worse position right now than that of, well, almost any Western country, with the possible exception of Greece. But for billionaire Berlusconi, this seems to be a relatively minor concern, as his party has done little to remedy the issue. It’s too busy partying.
On top of that, Berlusconi recently sort gave the mafia a get-out-of-jail-free card. And admitted it! Per The Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Versace said his “Sicilian friends” urged him to vote in favor of a no-confidence motion in Parliament on Wednesday that was brought against Italy’s agriculture minister, who is under investigation for Mafia association. Mr. Berlusconi’s coalition defeated the motion by a couple dozen votes.
Uh huh. Well, now that two of the most powerful people in fashion have signed on, we hope railing against Berlusconi is a trend that really starts tot take off.