World
Berlusconi's latest political strategy: pet adoptions
Publish Date: Mar 30, 2014
Berlusconi's latest political strategy: pet adoptions
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the Ciampino Airport, near Rome on March 25, 2014. PHOTO/AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

ROME - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has unveiled a scheme to boost his flagging popularity: finding homes for hundreds of thousands of stray dogs and cats to win the hearts of animal lovers, media reports said Sunday.

"We need to find a daddy or mummy for thousands of abandoned dogs and cats," the billionaire reportedly said in a telephone call to one of his fan clubs in Rome, as he scrabbles to revive support for his centre-right Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, hit hard by his political downfall last year.

An Ixe poll carried out for Rai 3 television on Saturday showed Forza Italia slip into third place behind the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the anti-establishment Five Star movement.

Mass adoptions orchestrated by Berlusconi would mean "over 10 million Italians who have a dog or cat will only be able to look on us with fondness, which will help the moderates become a strong political force, a majority," he said on Saturday.

The media magnate -- who was ousted from the Senate after a tax fraud conviction and is waiting to learn where he will carry out a sentence of one-year community service -- also cited Mother Teresa on animal welfare, saying "if we love them as we should, we will be very close to God."

The adoptions would save 260,000 million euros ($357,000) a year on kennels, he added.

The ploy received a tepid response from animal rights groups, with the Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA) pointing out that Berlusconi had seriously underestimated the number of strays in Italy, which it put at 750,000.

"We need concrete measures. Berlusconi could come and do some dog sitting for us," it told La Stampa daily, renewing an offer to have the 77-year-old serve out his community service with the association.

It is not the first time the former prime minister has resorted to dogs to boost his image. Dudu, a white Maltese terrier brought into his household by his 28-year-old girlfriend Francesca Pascale, has his own Facebook page where he promotes Forza Italia.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Protesters press HK leader to quit, China tells US to back off
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters demanded that the city's embattled leader meet a deadline to resign, as China warned the United States against meddling in its "internal affairs"....
Obama
The US Secret Service director has resigned, paying the price for a string of security lapses by the elite presidential protection branch....
S.Sudan bill gives security forces
South Sudanese lawmakers have proposed granting security forces the ability to make "virtually unrestricted powers of arrest" in the war-torn nation, Amnesty International warned...
ICC insists Kenyatta attend
THE International Criminal Court has rejected a request by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's lawyers to have him excused from a hearing next week...
Muslim pilgrims denounce IS but doubt US-led war
As they gather in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj, some pilgrims have denounced atrocities by Islamic State group jihadists as "a virus" threatening the world....
Fears over fresh eruption halt Japan volcano search
Volcanic tremors and fears over a fresh eruption forced rescuers with gas masks to halt operations to recover bodies from a Japanese mountain on Tuesday, 72 hours after its eruption....
Will police's move to increase the number of investigators help deal with fraud?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter