According to court filings reported by Milan’s Corriere della Serra, Italy’s flamboyant former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will be paying his ex-wife thirty-six million euro per year under the terms of their divorce agreement. Italy’s longest serving postwar P.M., it seems, does nothing on a small scale, from media ownership to bunga bunga to alimony — and he possessed a net worth of US$5.9 billion in 2012, so the payout may not even wreck his balance sheet.
Despite the many austerity jokes that present themselves, the news — tawdry though it may be — should serve to demonstrate the depth of Berlusconi’s pockets (and remind us all of the concomitant power of his media platform). Facts, in other words, that his current slate of political opponents would do well to keep firmly in mind, despite a poll edge. Then again, with the U.S. coming off an election that carried a $6 billion price tag and delivered the status quo ante (more or less), it may be that money doesn’t talk as loudly as it once did in electoral politics.