White House Briefing Materials Describe Italian PM as "Amateur", "Hated by Many"


The White House has apologized for circulating briefing materials which described Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as an amateur presiding over an administration of corruption and vice who is hated by many:

The White House has apologised to Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi for a briefing describing him as a political "amateur" who is "hated by many".
The "insulting" biography was included in a press kit distributed to reporters travelling with President George W Bush to a meeting of world leaders in Japan.
He was "one of the most controversial leaders" of a country "known for governmental corruption and vice".
Only last month, Mr Bush visited his old ally, calling him a "good friend".
The four-page description of Mr Berlusconi had been taken from the Encyclopedia of World Biography.
It refers to the Italian prime minister as a man "hated by many but respected by all at least for his bella figura (personal style) and the sheer force of his will".
It says Mr Berlusconi was said to be "regarded by many as a political dilettante (amateur) who gained his high office only through use of his considerable influence on the national media". [BBC]
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