The Scan — October 22, 2013

National Journal
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Oct. 21, 2013, 4:59 p.m.

Itali­an PM Silvio Ber­lusconi “will re­main” hos­pit­al­ized “at least an­oth­er two nights” after he was “hit in the face with a heavy fig­ur­ine” of Mil­an’s Duomo over the week­end (see 12/14 Hot­line), and is “un­likely to leave” be­fore 12/16. Ber­lusconi “was suf­fer­ing from a severe head­ache and has dif­fi­culty eat­ing,” he lost “half a litre” of blood and he suffered a “broken nose.”

Itali­an me­dia re­por­ted that Ber­lusconi’s at­tack­er, Massimo Tartaglia, 42, re­leased a let­ter through his atty apo­lo­giz­ing for his “su­per­fi­cial, cow­ardly and in­con­sid­er­ate act.” Tartaglia ad­ded that he “ac­ted alone (with no) form of mil­it­ary or polit­ic­al af­fil­i­ation” (Lon­don Tele­graph, 12/15).

Still a “de­bate raged” in Italy over “wheth­er a new cli­mate of hate was dom­in­at­ing” the coun­try (Din­more/Bo­land, Wash­ing­ton Post, 12/15). “Dozens of groups sup­port­ing” the fig­ur­ine-throw­er’s ac­tions “have sprung up on Face­book,” and of­fi­cials said the gov’t “would dis­cuss meas­ures to block those sites” (Po­voledo, New York Times, 12/15).

It is “un­clear” how Ber­lusconi “will emerge from the at­tack.” His per­son­al doc­tor re­por­ted on his first night in the hos­pit­al, “He is sub­dued, very gloomy. He is re­act­ing ina way that is not like him.” And “pho­to­graphs of Ber­lusconi’s slashed and bruised vis­age will now forever be part of the way we see the perma-tanned and im­age-con­scious bil­lion­aire.”

But “this was not the first time an on­look­er had launched a dan­ger­ous ob­ject” at Ber­lusconi. Five years ago, a man “threw his tri­pod” at Ber­lusconi, who “suffered minor shoulder in­jur­ies” and “pub­licly for­gave his at­tack­er” after get­ting a let­ter of apo­logy (Is­raely, Time, 12/14).

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