Mr Berlusconi has long insisted that his female acquaintances do not interfere in any way with his political and institutional duties.
A recent episode, while relatively minor, proves him wrong.
Mrs Nunzia De Girolamo was one of Berlusconi’s “amazzoni” before being appointed Minister of Agriculture by Mr Letta and switching to Deputy Prime Minister Alfano’s New Right.
Now she has been forced to resign by a scandal, and has accused the Government and the parties supporting it (which include her own) of not shielding her properly. She was rumored to be ready to come back under Mr Berlusconi’s wing, but her return was reportedly vetoed by Miss Francesca Pascale, Mr Berlusconi’s girlfriend.
Officially Miss Pascale pointed out at Mrs De Girolamo’s unreliability for “betraying” Mr Berlusconi, but the former Minister’s looks are likely to have played a part in Miss Pascale’s reaction.