Silvio's girlfriend will ask for pardon from the Pope
Silvio Berlusconi's glamorous young girlfriend has said she will appeal to Pope Francis to secure the former prime minister a pardon, a day after he was thrown out of the Italian parliament.
Francesca Pascale, who at 28 is almost one-third the age of 77-year-old Mr Berlusconi, said she wants to explain the "tragedy" that has befallen her fiance, after his 20-year parliamentary career was brought to a humiliating end by the vote in the senate on Wednesday.
Mr Berlusconi was stripped of his seat as a consequence of a definitive conviction for tax fraud, handed down by the Supreme Court in August, involving his Mediaset television company.
The decision by the senate was "a coup d'etat -- how else can one describe it?" Ms Pascale, a former shop assistant, said.
"I appeal to Pope Francis to receive me and to hear the story of Berlusconi," she said.
She said she plans to write a letter to the Jesuit Pope, pleading for a pardon for the billionaire tycoon.
"I was thinking of appealing to Napolitano, but then I realised that I would find the door closed to me," Ms Pascale said, referring to the president of Italy, former Communist Giorgio Napolitano, whom Mr Berlusconi regards as part of a supposed left-wing conspiracy against him.
Despite his expulsion from parliament, Mr Berlusconi vowed on Wednesday to stay leader of his Forza Italia party and to remain at the heart of Italian politics.
"Even if you are not a parliamentarian, you can continue to fight for freedom. I will remain in the field," he told supporters outside his mansion in central Rome. (© Daily Telegraph, London)