Italy has fun with Trumposconi theme
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