Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
12:03 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Berlusconi, Monti let the dogs out for Italy elections
Agence France Presse
Maria Vittoria Brambilla (L) former Environment Minister for Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet arrives at the electoral PDL (People of Freedom) meeting in Milan on February 3, 2013 with the dog named " Vittoria" prior to Berlusconi's arrival to pose with it. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE
Maria Vittoria Brambilla (L) former Environment Minister for Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet arrives at the electoral PDL (People of Freedom) meeting in Milan on February 3, 2013 with the dog named " Vittoria" prior to Berlusconi's arrival to pose with it. AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE
A+ A-

ROME: Would you vote for the sleek pedigree or a cheeky mongrel? The race for the top job in Italy's February vote has taken on a new angle, with rival candidates Mario Monti and Silvio Berlusconi adopting canine friends in a bizarre election ploy.

Three-time premier Berlusconi, whose centre-right party is catching up with the left in the polls, adopted a stray from the streets of Sicily this week and photographs of the pair canoodling in a garden instantly went viral on social networks.

Not to be outdone, Prime Minister Monti, a somewhat staid economist who has launched himself into the fray in a bid to prevent the return of Berlusconi, adopted a puppy on live television and named him Empatia (Empathy) -- "Empy to his friends" -- on his Twitter account @SenatoreMonti.

Two-month old Vicky, a bitch rescued from a busy road in Palermo and taken in by party-loving Berlusconi, 76, is part-wolf, part-Golden Retriever.

Her rival: 4-month old Empy, a pure-bred Maltese bought from a pet shop in Milan, Italy's economic and fashion capital, and presented to the professorial Monti by a chat-show host.

"It's dog eat dog, will Vicky or Empy triumph?" Simone Battista said on Twitter, where users started a #yeswecane ("yes we dog") feed in honour of the election's new celebrities.

Many helped Monti come up with a name for his puppy, with several suggesting "Spread" -- a reference to Italy's financial difficulties -- or "Imu", a widely-hated property tax.

Berlusconi -- renowned for his penchant for young ladies -- was instantly the butt of jokes about taking home stray females.

Some users suggested the puppy may be linked to his latest campaign promise to tackle unemployment.

"Four million new jobs for young people? Dogsitters," tweeted Manuel Massimo.

Rumours immediately spread that the current front-runner Pier Luigi Bersani was set to jump on the bandwagon and get a dog too -- though some users thought the cigar-chomping former Communist and hard rock fan was probably a cat fan.

It is still to be seen whether Vicky or Empy will influence the election result.

"Out of all these dogs, who am I supposed to vote for?" tweeted Lorenzo Pavone.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Italy
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS