Rome

Critic says Berlusconi's engagement election boost

Sgarbi suggests pregnant fiancee even better for campaign

Critic says Berlusconi's engagement election boost

Rome, December 18 - Former premier Silvio Berlusconi's surprise engagement to a much younger woman is an election ploy to boost his popularity, a political commentator said Tuesday. And if Berlusconi really wants to give his lecherous image a makeover, his fiancee Francesca Pascale should announce a pregnancy to present a family image, added Vittorio Sgarbi in a radio comment. The former premier has been trying to resuscitate his political career while fending off criminal charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute. "Berlusconi and Pascale have been together for at least a year and a half, and this (sudden announcement) is obviously planned for his campaign," said Sgarbi. "At this point, it's best to become pregnant," to enhance Berlusconi's family image. The commentator, critic, and former politician said that Pascale's interest in Berlusconi is common for younger women drawn to wealthy men. Berlusconi, who is 76 to her 27, is Italy's richest man and very powerful. "She is there because nothing is more attractive than power," added Sgarbi. "It's the story of a girl who finds a powerful man, that takes care of her".

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