Italy’s Berlusconi says Russia’s Putin gave him vodka, ‘sweet’ note
Dale Earnhart/Getty Images(ROME) — On a visit to Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s hometown of Vasto, near Ancona, he drank a toast. The prime minister then took his party down to the local pub. But he also took his host out to a table where he gave him a sealed letter that contained a Russian vodka, a note with the words, “In celebration of new friendship between our peoples,” and, handwritten on the envelope, a Russian ruble.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gives the Russian minister vodka and a note in Vasto, Ancona on April 22, 2010.
He also gave him an envelope and a note with his signature on it.
The two then returned to the Prime Minister’s home, which stands in a modest row of low-rise houses in the middle of a quiet neighborhood. For a brief moment, though, Berlusconi’s demeanor is almost one of benignity as he plays with his children, then walks among them as if nothing untoward had happened.
In his hotel room, where he has been staying since Sunday, the smiling premier ordered another round of drinks. This time, he ordered a bottle of vodka, poured it into a snifter and handed it to his guest.
The bottle arrived in a plain brown bottle with a metal label that reads PORT ARISCA.
“He is a man, like all men, he is not perfect, but he is not a monster.”
— Silvio Berlusconi, who is now facing trial in Italy for allegedly having sex with underage girls
The prime minister sips from the glass with satisfaction, then notes the date on the label. It was just two days before Berlusconi’s 30th birthday.
The note inside the envelope with the vodka bottle is written in a fine pencil.
“I drink when I want, and I drink without taking a drink. I love it