Tuesday 13 June 2023

Berlusconi, Putin and following the money

With no irony in evidence**, Reuters reports as follows: 

Vladimir Putin called Italy's Silvio Berlusconi a dear friend and an outstanding politician in a tribute to the former prime minister who died on Monday aged 86. "For me, Silvio was a dear person, a true friend. I have always sincerely admired his wisdom, his ability to make balanced, far-sighted decisions even in the most difficult situations," Putin said in a message of condolence. Berlusconi will be remembered in Russia as a "consistent and principled supporter of strengthening friendly relations between our countries", he said.

Well, well.  Lots of fellow feeling in evidence there; (though "principled" seems a bit of a stretch).  Maybe a suggestion of some significant personal, errr, interests in common?  Perhaps Putin has lost a very dear friend indeed: in which case, our condolences.

There is some forensic analysis yet to see the light of day here, but I'm not sure you get much of that in Italy.  Still ... just how did Putin become many commentators' candidate for the wealthiest man in the world?

They must think he's a financial genius.



** Then again, the report does go on to note:  "Like former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Berlusconi cultivated close relations with Moscow during Putin's first years in the Kremlin from 2000 onwards."  What could Reuters possibly mean by mentioning that?


Swiss Bob said...

Indeed, some murky deals over pipelines to be explored among other issues.

dearieme said...

I saw a thing the other day explaining that the BIG profits from the Covid vaxx went not to Pfizer but to the German firm that invented it. The piece was illustrated with a photo including a very prominent Ma Merkel. Hello, I thought, what are they hinting at?

DJK said...

Maybe the Daily Mail is right (is this the best source you could find, ND?) and Putin is the world's richest man. But does he have the time or space to enjoy his wealth now, or could he enjoy it if/when he stops being Russian President? Clearly the answer in both cases is no. So whatever fantasy figure the DM believes is his total wealth, the actual figure that he has undisputed ownership of is much, much less. As to Berlusconi, he at least knew how to enjoy wealth, rather more so than Putin, I think.

I am not Italian, so I don't understand what the attraction of Berlusconi was, but politics is duller without him.

DJK said...

OK, slight correction. ND's link leads to a Google search result, of which (for me) the top hit is a DM article.

Anonymous said...

@ Swiss Bob

A cent or two on every unit of gas makes a lot of *ahem* cents.

Anonymous said...

By $om€ m€a$ur€$ Mr B. mu$t b€ th€ mo$t $ucc€$$ful politician in €urop€!

Anonymous said...

Mr B knew how to handle a mafioso.

andrew said...

I skimmed and kept reading DM as dungeon master.
Those fantasy role playing guys must have hidden depths.
A bit like ww1 generals, the great distance between front line and putin may give him a bit of that mjndset