In a communiqué to the press dated 3 May 2009, Silvio Berlusconi’s

wife, Veronica Lario, announced that she was divorcing her husband.

The declaration came less than a week after the publication of a message

that she had sent to a press agency denouncing the apparent

intention of her husband’s political party to field a range of showgirls,

singers, and television actresses as candidates in the forthcoming

European elections. Finding this plan disgraceful and humiliating to

women, she dismissed it as “shameless rubbish.” “We have had Mrs.

Thatcher, and today there is Mrs. Merkel. They show that it is possible

for women to have a political career,” she continued.