Italy's Silvio Berlusconi Changes His Party's Tune - Literally

Article excerpt

Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi changed the anthem of his political party, which sang his individual praises, in an effort to make himself appear more of a team player and uniter.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is changing tune -

literally.

The embattled Italian leader has changed his political party's

anthem in an apparent effort to soften his image ahead of the

regional elections, scheduled for March 28 and 29.

The earlier People of Freedom Party anthem, which was used during

the campaign for last year's general elections, went "Menomale che

Silvio c'e", which roughly translates into "Thank God that

Silvio exists."

Soon, countless parodies appeared on the Internet, including "Io

sto male se Silvio c'e" ("I feel sick when Silvio is around") and

a popular spoof video attributing the original lyrics to Paris Hilton

and a number of starlets from Berlusconi-owned commercial TV

stations.

Some took this campaign slogan as the ultimate expression of

Berlusconi's oversized ego and his Freedom People's tendency toward

becoming a personality cult.

After all, this flamboyant media tycoon and onetime cruise-ship

crooner has compared himself to Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi.

When he entered politics in 1994, he claimed to be "appointed by

God."

But the new anthem seems to be a step away from that, and Italian

analysts say Mr. …