Berlusconi's 'glamour girls' back in election hunt
ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has again put forward starlets with few political qualifications as election candidates for his party in spite of criticism that he is undermining the democratic process.
A television weather girl, a former actress and a dental hygienist who helped to repair Mr Berlusconi's smashed mouth after a recent attack in Milan are among the candidates who will contest crucial elections in Italy next month.
It is the second chance at entering politics for two of the women. Last year they were proposed as candidates for the European Parliament but were hastily dumped after Mr Berlusconi's wife called the idea "shameless trash for the entertainment of the emperor". The couple have since separated.
Nicole Minetti (25), who will be a candidate in the northern region of Lombardy, is a television showgirl who recently qualified as a dental hygienist and ended up helping to repair Mr Berlusconi's teeth. Ms Minetti has insisted that she is "up to the job" of entering politics.
Political campaigning in the southern region of Campania will be brightened up by Giovanna Del Giudice, a former television weather girl and a hostess at Billionaire, an exclusive beachside nightclub on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda. She broke down in tears last year after she was dropped as a European election candidate.
The third glamorous candidate is Emanuela Romano (29), whose father Cesare tried to set fire to himself last April outside Mr Berlusconi's mansion in Rome in protest at her rejection.