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The Independent Online

It has all the ingredients for an Italian story – ice cream, a pretty woman, a Berlusconi-owned magazine and political scandal.

Even the trashy gossip magazine Chi may have been surprised by the size of the backlash after it printed a series of photos showing the centre-left minister Marianna Madia eating an ice cream cone  – as if she’d been caught prostituting herself. “She knows what to do with a cone,” declared the text. The Lombardy division of the journalists’ syndicate is calling for disciplinary action against the magazine’s creepy editor, Alfonso Signorini.

It was Chi magazine that brought us close-ups  of the Duchess of Cambridge’s breasts. But Chi has a history, too, for petty, political spats. The disgraced ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has a controlling stake in its publisher, Mondadori. This probably isn’t unrelated to that in April the rag printed unflattering photos of the mogul’s ex-wife, Veronica Lario, and ridiculed her for not having had any plastic surgery just days after she demanded a €540m (£423m) divorce settlement. So what’s Chi’s beef with Ms Madia? Perhaps it’s miffed that she and Prime Minister Renzi haven’t flirted with each other. Mr Berlusconi wouldn’t have missed the opportunity.

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