The Italian Almanac

Silvio Berlusconi

Italian News - February 20

The Italian Foreign Ministry has called in Sweden's ambassador to complain about an advertisement on Swedish television that criticised Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for wielding too much power over Italian media.

Italy had expressed its disapproval to the ambassador about the advertisement, which was aimed at highlighting the independence of Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

The television clip shows Berlusconi mopping his brow and appearing on different TV screens simultaneously. Using "O Sole Mio" as its soundtrack, the advert says Berlusconi won 2001 general elections using the power of his television stations and then changed a law that would have forced him to sell one of his channels.