Meow bella: Silvio Berlusconi plays pet lover to win back power for party Forza Italia with animal adoption plan
‘Dogs and cats will help party to win the European elections,’ says Italy’s disgraced former premier
As his decline and fall continues apace, disgraced ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi has concocted another cause close to his heart with which to win back votes for his moribund Forza Italia Party.
The media mogul thinks that being kind to animals will provide the party with the boost it needs in the May European Elections.
“We must strive to find a ‘father’ or ‘mother’ for the thousands of abandoned animals. Dogs and cats will help us to win the European elections,” Mr Berlusconi reportedly said in a phone call to one of the his fan clubs, the Rome-based Forza Silvio (Go on Silvio).
The tycoon said that his mass animal adoption scheme would mean “more than 10 million Italians who have a dog or cat will look on us with fondness, which will help the moderates become a strong political force, a majority,” he said.
Never one to do things by halves, Mr Berlusconi even cited Mother Teresa’s thoughts on animal welfare, saying “if we learn to love them as they deserve, we will be very close to God”.
The pet adoption plans comes as a poll carried out for Rai 3 television at the weekend showed Forza Italia had slipped into third place behind the centre-left Democratic Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
With Mr Berlusconi no longer to sit in parliament thanks to his definitive tax fraud conviction, Forza Italia appears to be struggling as Berlusconi loyalists fight it out with more pragmatic figures to determine the future of the party.
Adding to his woes, judges in Milan will in the next few weeks decide where Mr Berlusconi does his 12-month community service, as punishment for tax evasion. He is also on trial for bribing a pimp and drug dealer, and has the Rubygate appeal to prepare for.
So far, animal rights campaigners are unimpressed by the initiative. The Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment claimed that Mr Berlusconi had understated the problem of unwanted pets in Italy.
It said there were another 750,000 dogs living wild, in addition to the 150,000 languishing in kennels.
“We need concrete measures. Mr Berlusconi could come and do some dog sitting for us,” the association told La Stampa, thereby renewing its offer for the mogul to serve out his community service with them.
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...