Italy has fun with Trumposconi theme

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

ROME: Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion has been good news for Italy’s co­me­di­ans. Just when it seemed that ex-premier Sil­vio Ber­lus­coni had be­come too ir­rel­e­vant to poke fun at, an­other gaffe-prone leader with bizarre hair and orange skin has popped up. And Ital­ians are en­joy­ing a laugh - sort of - about the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the two busi­ness bil­lion­aires turned masters of pop­ulist politics.

“Amer­i­cans, you’ve elected Don­ald Trump: Wel­come to the Ber­lus­coni ex­pe­ri­ence,” was how Naples-based satirists The Jackal put it in a video that has gone vi­ral on so­cial media this week. The clip, a com­pi­la­tion of Ber­lus­coni’s sex­ist jokes, diplo­matic blun­ders and gen­eral buf­foon­ery con­cludes on a somber note: “The only dif­fer­ence is that Trump has got the nu­clear codes.”

Un­der the hash­tag Trumposconi, Twit­ter-wits mean­while have been hav­ing fun photo-shop­ping Trump’s bouf­fant hair onto Ber­lus­coni’s cos­met­i­cally-tight­ened face. Beyond the perma-tans and the ques­tion­able coif­fures, many of the things the US pres­i­dent-elect and the for­mer three-times Ital­ian prime min­is­ter have in com­mon are also the things that have made them such con­tro­ver­sial fig­ures. They both head opaque busi­ness em­pires that gen­er­ated enough cash to fi­nance their suc­cess­ful switches into politics in later life.

The tax af­fairs of both men have been sub­ject to scru­tiny: Trump says pay­ing none “makes me smart” and re­fuses to re­lease his re­turns. Ber­lus­coni was found guilty in 2013 of fis­cal fraud, a con­viction that ef­fec­tively ended his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer. De­spite their own wealth and ex­trav­a­gant life­styles, both present them­selves as com­fort­able with and cham­pi­ons of or­di­nary peo­ple, as out­siders un­tainted by the per­ceived fail­ures of es­tab­lished elites.

Sil­vio Ber­lus­coni Don­ald Trump

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