• Italy's news in English
 

'If Berlusconi was gay, nobody would touch him'

AFP · 19 Sep 2013, 18:21

Published: 19 Sep 2013 18:21 GMT+02:00

"Berlusconi is on trial for living with women, but if he were a homosexual, nobody would dare touch him," Putin said during a discussion with
international experts and journalists at the Valdai Club in the northwestern Novgorod region.

The remark was met by roars of laughter from the audience.

Berlusconi, 76, is appealing a conviction for having sex with an underage prostitute nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer.

The Valdai forum is a discussion organised annually by Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti that invites various foreign speakers to discuss Russia.

Putin has come under fire for his anti-gay stance since he signed a controversial "gay propaganda" law in June that bans disseminating information
about homosexuality to minors.

Outrage in the West has also led to calls to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia's Sochi resort next year.

Putin frequently defends "traditional" values and said at the Valdai club that Western countries had forgotten their Christian roots and were "denying
moral principles and traditional identities," including in "sexual" matters.

The Russian president is known to be friends with Berlusconi, who has flown in to Russia for several of Putin's birthdays and to celebrate his victory in presidential polls last year.

The former Italian prime minister has also been accused of homophobia.

"I am always working flat out and sometimes I look at beautiful women...It's better to be passionate about beautiful women than to be gay."

Berlusconi said in the midst of the sex scandal in 2010.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Illegal toxic waste dump found outside Turin
Italian police survey the scale of the illegal dumping. Photo: Guarda di Finanza Torino

Illegal toxic waste dump found outside Turin

11 hours ago

Italian police have discovered mountains of illegally disposed harmful waste at an abandoned factory in San Gillio, a town near Turin.

Serie A
Buffon hits out as Juve slump in Serie A
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Buffon hits out as Juve slump in Serie A

11 hours ago

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has called on the stuttering Italian champions to stand up and be counted after a second consecutive league defeat left them in the Serie A Doldrums.

Italy's Enel becomes top solar player in Brazil
A field of solar panels. Photo: Boris Horvat / AFP

Italy's Enel becomes top solar player in Brazil

11 hours ago

Italy's Enel Green Power said on Monday it had won the right to sell power supply contracts for 553 MW in Brazil and would be investing €533 million euros in three new plants.

Two killed during historical re-enactment
The two men died during a historical re-enactment in Potenza (not the one pictured). Photo: Marvin/Flickr

Two killed during historical re-enactment

13 hours ago

Two people were killed and five others injured when a period firearm exploded during a historical re-enactment in the Basilicata city of Potenza, in southern Italy.

Italy's Eni finds largest-ever gas field in the Med
Italy's Eni has found the Mediterranean's largest-ever natural gas field. Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP

Italy's Eni finds largest-ever gas field in the Med

15 hours ago

Italian energy company Eni said on Sunday it has found one of the world’s largest natural gas fields - so big it could supply Egypt with natural gas for decades.

Alpine dam disaster remembered 50 years on
Aerial view of Mattmark dam. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Alpine dam disaster remembered 50 years on

16 hours ago

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Mattmark hydro dam in the Swiss canton of Valais Alps on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a natural disaster that killed 88 workers, including 56 Italians.

Serie A
Roma stun Juve as Chievo crush Lazio
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has called for fans' patience as new recruits settled in. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Roma stun Juve as Chievo crush Lazio

16 hours ago

Juventus's early season woes continued on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat to scudetto rivals Roma as Chievo went top of Serie A with a resounding 4-0 win over Lazio.

Migrant crisis
Italy arrests ten over migrant boat deaths
The arrests follow statements made by survivors rescued from the same migrant boat. Photo: Marcello Paternostro/AFP

Italy arrests ten over migrant boat deaths

3 days ago

Italian authorities said Friday they had arrested ten suspected people smugglers in connection with the death by asphyxiation of 52 people who had been forced to remain in the hold of a migrant boat on which 52 people asphyxiated.

Italian lesbian author gets papal blessing
Pope Francis has sent his blessing to a lesbian author of children's books dealing with same-sex families. Photo: Filippo Monteforte

Italian lesbian author gets papal blessing

3 days ago

Pope Francis has sent his blessing to a lesbian author of children's books dealing with same-sex families, wishing her and her wife well in their work, it emerged on Friday.

Venice Film Festival
Jonathan Demme to get Venice award
Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

Jonathan Demme to get Venice award

3 days ago

Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme is to be presented with the Visionary Talent award at the upcoming Venice Film Festival, organizers announced on Friday.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Muslim mayor refuses to take in refugees
Travel
Ten adventurous ways to see Italy
Education
Fewer Italians want to be doctors
Sport
Nibali kicked off Tour of Spain for hitching a lift
Features
Italy's best-kept secrets: 10 must-see places
Italy wants answers on mobster's flashy funeral
National
The neglected children of Italy's domestic workers
National
Doggy bags: The last Italian taboo?
Travel
Civita: The Italian town that refuses to die
Travel
How bad mannered tourists are riling Venice
National
Italy slammed for 'faking' Roman ruin
National
10 Italian dishes with truly disgusting names
National
Italian park held hostage by 'veggie' panther
National
Lost pensioner survives on herbs for nine days
National
Italian mum and daughter reunited after WWII
Five 'ghost' buildings that cost Italy dearly
National
Pompeii survives bumpy restoration saga
National
Italian town warns people to 'stop dying'
National
Why Italy's south is far better than the north
Rome 'too crowded' for more migrants: mayor
Politics
Italy's anti-establishment party 'ready to govern'
Sport
Rome rules out using Vatican for Olympic bid
National
Italy's south is worse off than Greece
National
What happens to Italy’s missing migrant kids?
National
Rome mayor fights for survival amid chaos
National
Six dodgy fashion trends to emerge from Italy
National
Is Italy about to legalize cannabis?
National
Rome's 'decay' prompts council reshuffle
Business & Money
Chinese are quaffing more Italian wine
Travel
Seven daft TripAdvisor comments about Italy
National
Italian town bans dog barking during naptime
National
Tornado predicted as Italy heatwave ends
National
Italy told to recognize same-sex couple rights
National
Migrant girl dies after insulin thrown in sea
National
Heatwave kills 140 pensioners in Piedmont
National
Treviso homeowners burn migrants' furniture
National
Tourists in hot water for Rome fountain dips
Migrants rush to help after Venice tornado
Politics
Isis steps up campaign with Italy consulate hit
National
Paolini tweets 'sorry' for cocaine shame
Travel
Where and how to take a great selfie in Italy
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,191
jobs available