Juventus Football Club (Latin for Youth, pronounced yoo-VEHN-toos) is one of Italy's oldest and greatest football clubs, based in Turin, Piedmont. It competes in Serie A. Juventus are widely regarded as one of the world's top clubs.
The team typically plays in black-and-white striped shirts and black shorts (but for decades in white shorts), and is nicknamed la Vecchia Signora (the Old Lady), bianconeri (black-and-white's), zebre (zebras), or deprecatively gobbi (humpbacks) by the opponents. The team gets its black-and-white striped kits from English side Notts County. Originally the team played in pink shirts (pink being the cheapest material available) with a black tie.
When the club decided to change these, it was decided to import kits in the red of Nottingham Forest, but a mix-up by the supplier meant that the team got the Notts County black and white instead. The club's stadium is the 69,041-seat Stadio Delle Alpi, which it currently shares with Torino Calcio. This arrangement will end after the 2004–05 season, when Torino Calcio will open a new ground of its own.
Juventus F.C. was founded in November 1897 by students from Massimo D'Azeglio Lyceum, in a "legendary" bench in one of Turin's boulevard, Re Umberto boulevard. The team won a previous version of the national league titles as early as 1905, but did not win their second until 1926. In 1923, the Agnelli family (owners of Fiat) gained control of the club, and built a private stadium in Villar Perosa (near Turin) and a complete series of facilities and services.
From 1931, the club won five consecutive Italian league championships (Italian scudetto). In 1933, they began playing at the Stadio Comunale. Post-war the club was very successful domestically, winning its tenth championship in 1961, but did not win any European titles until 1977 with the UEFA Cup.
The height of European success was not reached until 1985, when they won the European Champions Cup, but this success was largely overshadowed by the Heysel disaster that had occurred during the final between Juventus and Liverpool. Juventus repeated the success by winning the Champions League for a second time in 1996, and have not won it again since, the closest chance being when they lost to AC Milan in the 2003 final due to losing in a penalty shootout.
Juventus also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1984 and two more UEFA Cup (1990, 1993). However, in 1999, due to their poor domestic season, they were forced into the ignominy of entering the UEFA Intertoto Cup in order to qualify for Europe. They have won 28 Italian titles and nine Coppa Italias to date, both national records. The club is also one of only four to have won all three major European trophies.
Until recently, Juventus' players had to wear short (and regular) hair; the club also provided the team with official formal wear (made by famous tailors) and forced them to complete their educational studies. Most of its players remained with Juventus until the end of their careers; many still work for the club or for Fiat (or related companies).
The two stars on the Juventus shirt signify they have won the Scudetto over 20 times. In fact, Juventus won the Italian Championship 28 times, more than any other Italian club; no other club has won the championship over 20 times, but the closest one to that objective is AC Milan.
Juventus is now a corporation, listed on the Borsa Italiana. The sale of Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid of Spain was the most expensive in football to date, costing the Spanish club over $64 million (US), which is accurately £48 million.
On January 10, 2006 Alessandro Del Piero became the all time leading goalscorer for Juventus when he scored three times in a match against Fiorentina and took his total goals for the club to 185. The previous record holder was Giampiero Boniperti, who scored 182 goals for the club.The previous Juventus logo
As of January 31, 2006
In terms of league championships (called Albo d'Oro (palmarés) ), the club is the most successful in Italian football.
The following is a list, divided in historical periods, of the greatest players in the history of Juventus.
The following is a list, divided in historical periods, of the greatest players in the history of Juventus. He is especially careful about talking in intelligible Italian, though with a light Milan accent, while some politicians prior to 1992 talked an incomprehensible jargon. In terms of league championships (called Albo d'Oro (palmarés) ), the club is the most successful in Italian football. He is known to tell jokes to create a relaxed atmosphere, and trying to make sure everybody enjoys himself in his presence. As of January 31, 2006. His opponents perceive this as hypocrisy, since he can also deliver strong speeches that at times border on hate, especially when talking about communists. . Berlusconi always tries to maintain a gentle, agreeable character with whomever he is talking to.
The previous record holder was Giampiero Boniperti, who scored 182 goals for the club. Just about everyone agrees that he cares a great deal about his appearance; in January, 2004, after intense speculation in the media, he admitted he had a facelift . On January 10, 2006 Alessandro Del Piero became the all time leading goalscorer for Juventus when he scored three times in a match against Fiorentina and took his total goals for the club to 185. Another criticism voiced is that he over-reacts to attacks from political opponents. The sale of Zinedine Zidane to Real Madrid of Spain was the most expensive in football to date, costing the Spanish club over $64 million (US), which is accurately £48 million. Furthermore, critics often attribute a substantial part of his financial successes to his closeness to politicians that have been later exposed as corrupt (as Bettino Craxi) or even contiguous to the Mafia. Juventus is now a corporation, listed on the Borsa Italiana. His detractors, however, point out that he tends to centralize power upon his person, and this is reflected in the organization of the Forza Italia party.
In fact, Juventus won the Italian Championship 28 times, more than any other Italian club; no other club has won the championship over 20 times, but the closest one to that objective is AC Milan. Berlusconi is admired by some Italians for his tremendous success as a businessman; they praise what they consider his innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. The two stars on the Juventus shirt signify they have won the Scudetto over 20 times. Berlusconi has also been indicted in Spain for charges of tax fraud and violation of anti-trust laws regarding the private TV network Telecinco, but his status as a member of the European Parliament allowed him to gain immunity from prosecution 16. Most of its players remained with Juventus until the end of their careers; many still work for the club or for Fiat (or related companies). Presently (February 2005) the law is in process of being re-examined by the parliament, taking into account the President's objections on its constitutionality. Until recently, Juventus' players had to wear short (and regular) hair; the club also provided the team with official formal wear (made by famous tailors) and forced them to complete their educational studies. This reform has met almost unanimous dissent from the Italian judges 13,14 and, after three years of debate and struggle, was passed by the Italian parliament in December 2004, but was immediately vetoed by the Italian President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi 15, who said some of the passed laws were "clearly unconstitutional".
The club is also one of only four to have won all three major European trophies. More seriously, the Berlusconi administration has long been planning a judiciary reform intended to limit the arbitrariness allowed to the judges in their decisions (for example by introducing civil liability on the consequences of their sentences), but which, according to its critics, will instead limit the magistrature's independence, by de facto subjecting the judiciary to the executive's control. They have won 28 Italian titles and nine Coppa Italias to date, both national records. For such reasons, Berlusconi and his government have an ongoing quarrel with the Italian judiciary, which reached its peak in 2003 when Berlusconi commented to a foreign journalist that judges are "mentally disturbed" and "anthropologically different from the rest of the human race", remarks that he later claimed he meant to be directed to specific judges only, and of a humorous nature12. However, in 1999, due to their poor domestic season, they were forced into the ignominy of entering the UEFA Intertoto Cup in order to qualify for Europe. Because of these legislative acts, political opponents accuse Berlusconi of passing ad personam laws, to protect himself from legal charges; Berlusconi and his allies, on the other hand, maintain that such laws are consistent with everyone's right to a rapid and just trial, and with the principle of presumption of innocence (garantismo); furthermore, they claim that Berlusconi is subject to a judiciary persecution, a political witch hunt orchestrated by politicized (left-wing) judges 11. Juventus also won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1984 and two more UEFA Cup (1990, 1993). Subsequently Berlusconi has declared his intent to re-introduce the law using the correct procedure for constitutional modification.
Juventus repeated the success by winning the Champions League for a second time in 1996, and have not won it again since, the closest chance being when they lost to AC Milan in the 2003 final due to losing in a penalty shootout. In January 2004 the Lodo Maccanico was nullified by the Constitutional court as it was ruled to be in conflict with the Italian constitution. The height of European success was not reached until 1985, when they won the European Champions Cup, but this success was largely overshadowed by the Heysel disaster that had occurred during the final between Juventus and Liverpool. However, the trial was not frozen for other defendants, and the former lawyer of Berlusconi's main firm (Fininvest) and former Italian defence minister, Cesare Previti, was sentenced to 5 years although the crime was reduced from corruption of judges to simple corruption 9,10. Post-war the club was very successful domestically, winning its tenth championship in 1961, but did not win any European titles until 1977 with the UEFA Cup. This law froze Berlusconi's position in the SME-Ariosto trial in which he was accused of having corrupted judges in previous legal rulings regarding his partecipation in the public auction of the state-owned food company SME in the 1980s. In 1933, they began playing at the Stadio Comunale. Relevant examples are the law reducing punishment for all cases of false accounting; the new law on international rogatories, which made his Swiss bank records unusable in court against him 6; the law on legitimate suspicion, which allowed defendants to request their cases to be moved to another court if they believe that the local judges are biased against them 7,8; and most importantly the lodo Maccanico law, passed in June 2003, which granted the highest five state officers, including the Prime Minister, immunity from prosecution while in office2.
From 1931, the club won five consecutive Italian league championships (Italian scudetto). On some occasions, which raised a strong upheaval in the Italian political opposition, laws passed by the Berlusconi administration have effectively delayed ongoing trials on him, allowing the statute of limitations to expire, or stopped them entirely. In 1923, the Agnelli family (owners of Fiat) gained control of the club, and built a private stadium in Villar Perosa (near Turin) and a complete series of facilities and services. Heated debate on this issue was recently (2004) triggered again when Marcello Dell'Utri, the manager (later managing director) of Berlusconi`s publishing company Publitalia 80 and a Forza Italia senator and long time friend of Berlusconi, was sentenced to 9 years by the Palermo court on charge of "external association to the Mafia" 5, a sentence on which Berlusconi refused to comment. The team won a previous version of the national league titles as early as 1905, but did not win their second until 1926. Berlusconi acknowledges a personal friendship only to Craxi, and of course denies any ties to the Mafia. was founded in November 1897 by students from Massimo D'Azeglio Lyceum, in a "legendary" bench in one of Turin's boulevard, Re Umberto boulevard. Frequently cited by opponents are also events dating to the 1980s, including supposed "favor exchanges" between Berlusconi and the former prime minister Bettino Craxi, indicted in 1990-91 for various corruption charges; and even possible connections to the Italian Mafia, the latter accusations arising mostly from the above mentioned hiring of Vittorio Mangano4.
Juventus F.C. These accusations are regarded by Berlusconi and his supporters as empty slander, trying to undermine Berlusconi's reputation of a self-made man. This arrangement will end after the 2004–05 season, when Torino Calcio will open a new ground of its own. The allegations made against him generally include suspects about the extremely fast increase of his activity as a construction entrepreneur in years 1961-63, hinting at the possibility that in those years he received money from unknown and possibly illegal sources. The club's stadium is the 69,041-seat Stadio Delle Alpi, which it currently shares with Torino Calcio. Berlusconi's career as an entrepreneur is also often questioned by his detractors. When the club decided to change these, it was decided to import kits in the red of Nottingham Forest, but a mix-up by the supplier meant that the team got the Notts County black and white instead. Because of this a court of appeal convicted him for perjury in 1990, but the crime was extinguished by the previous 1989 amnesty.
Originally the team played in pink shirts (pink being the cheapest material available) with a black tie. Such statements, however, conflicted with the findings of the parliamentary commission appointed to investigate the lodge's activity, with material evidence, and even with previous testimony of Berlusconi, all of which showing that he had actually been a member of P2 since 1978 and had indeed paid a 100,000 Italian liras entry fee. The team gets its black-and-white striped kits from English side Notts County. Berlusconi later (1989) sued for libel three journalists who had written an article hinting at his involvement in financial crimes and in this occasion he declared in court that he had joined the P2 lodge "only a very short time before the scandal broke" and "he had not even paid the entry fee". The team typically plays in black-and-white striped shirts and black shorts (but for decades in white shorts), and is nicknamed la Vecchia Signora (the Old Lady), bianconeri (black-and-white's), zebre (zebras), or deprecatively gobbi (humpbacks) by the opponents. The P2 lodge was dissolved by the Italian parliament in December 1981 and a law was passed declaring similar organizations illegal, but no specific crimes were alleged to individual members of P2. Juventus are widely regarded as one of the world's top clubs. A list of names was found of adherents of P2, which included members of the secret services and some prominent personalities from the political, industrial, military and press elite, among which Silvio Berlusconi, who was just starting to gain popularity as the founder and owner of "Canale 5" TV network.
It competes in Serie A. Notably, in 1981 a scandal arose on the discovery by the police of Licio Gelli's secret freemasonry lodge (Propaganda Due, or P2) aiming to move the Italian political system in an authoritarian direction to oppose communism. Juventus Football Club (Latin for Youth, pronounced yoo-VEHN-toos) is one of Italy's oldest and greatest football clubs, based in Turin, Piedmont. Some of the suspects on Berlusconi's person arise from real or perceived blank spots in his past. Robert Kovac. Consequently, the dilatory tactics adopted by Berlusconi's attorneys (including repeated motions for change of venue) served to nullify the pending charges. David Trézéguet. The Italian legal system allows the statute of limitations to continue to run during the course of the trial.
Mauro Camoranesi. However, no definitive conviction sentence has ever been issued on Silvio Berlusconi himself for any of the trials which have concluded so far; in some cases he has been fully acquitted of the alleged charges, in others he has been acquitted with dubitative formula (not proven), or he was acquitted because the statute of limitations expired before a definitive sentence could be issued; in one case a previously granted amnesty extinguished the crime (perjury) before the sentence came into effect. Lilian Thuram. Some of Berlusconi's close collaborators, friends and firm managers have been found guilty of related crimes, notably his younger brother, Paolo, who in 2002 accepted to pay 52 million euros as a plea bargain to local authorities for various charges including corruption and undue appropriation17. Fabio Cannavaro. Silvio Berlusconi undoubtedly has a rather long record of judicial trials, as several crimes have been alleged to him or his firms (see also the following subsection on Berlusconi's trials), including false accounting, tax fraud, corruption and bribery of police officers and judges. Zlatan Ibrahimović. Sexist jokes are considered bad taste in Nordic countries, but are part of a macho image in Italy, and are therefore more accepted, though far from classy.
Pavel Nedvěd. This resulted in an uproar back home, where for a day female deputies in Parliament took part in a cross-party protest. Patrick Vieira. Before that, speaking to a group of Wall Street traders he listed a series of reasons to invest in Italy, the first of them being that "we have the most beautiful secretaries in the world". Emerson. Berlusconi later 'retracted' the comment by saying that anyone who had seen a picture of Halonen must have been aware that he had been joking. Gianluca Zambrotta. .
Gianluigi Buffon. This caused criticism from both Italy and Finland, with the Italian ambassador in Finland being called by the Finnish foreign minister. Alen Boksic. In mid-May 2005, while opening the European Food Safety Authority in Parma (after the location had previously been preferred over one in Finland and Berlusconi had accused Finns of "not knowing what prosciutto is"), Berlusconi claimed that he had to "blow away the dust from my playboy (in English) arts" with the Finnish president, Tarja Halonen, to convince her to locate the EFSA in Parma. Paolo Montero. Even though Berlusconi insisted that he was only "joking", his comparisons with the Nazis caused a brief diplomatic rift between Italy and Germany. Edgar Davids. Berlusconi replied:.
Filippo Inzaghi. On July 2, 2003, one day after taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, he was heavily criticised by the German Member of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (from the SPD) because of his domestic policy. Christian Vieri. . Antonio Conte. He later explained that he "was joking", and he meant to create a relaxed climate, that this sort of meeting were meant to "create friendship, cordiality, simpatia and kind relationships" between the participants, and that he wanted to amuse a small group of Boy Scout bystanders. Fabrizio Ravanelli. This is a common joke among Italian pre-teens, and many felt it was utterly out of place in an international meeting.
Alessandro Del Piero. In February 2002, at a European Union summit of foreign ministers, Berlusconi, present since the replacement of his previous foreign minister, Renato Ruggiero, had not yet been appointed, made a vulgar gesture (the "corna") behind the head of the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Piqué, indicating he (Piqué) was a cuckold, exactly at the time of the taking of the official pictures. Angelo Di Livio. On April 4 2000, from his electoral ship, he tells a controversial joke about AIDS. Roberto Baggio. His sense of humour is perceived to be somewhat coarse, and could be thought to be purposely targeted at the average Italian, if Berlusconi had not been a known figure already before entering politics. Gianluca Vialli. Berlusconi himself claims to have resolved his conflict of interest: for example, he cites the fact that he is neither longer president of Mediaset, nor 100% owner.
Zinédine Zidane. Critics claim that this situation indicates that laws about conflict of interest and anti-trust are in practice completely ineffective. Didier Deschamps. Berlusconi responded to critics by saying that he would not take advantage of these himself, but later he did. Ciro Ferrara. His government has passed some laws that have shortened statutory terms for tax fraud. Angelo Peruzzi. Berlusconi has many financial interests, and it is inevitable that a lot of legislation can have a direct financial impact on his fortune.
Paolo Rossi. When RAI was being run by a 2-man team appointed by the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate (both in Berlusconi's coalition), the state broadcaster lost a significant market share to the rival Mediaset group, owned and run by the Berlusconi family, which has led to large personal gain. Marco Tardelli. Controversy concerning Berlusconi's conflicts of interest are normally centered around the use of his media and marketing power for political gain; however, there is also controversy regarding financial gains. Franco Causio. RAI continued to be run by a two-man team (mockingly nicknamed by the opposition i giapponesi, "the Japanese" after the Japanese soldiers that kept fighting in the Pacific ocean after the end of World War II). Gaetano Scirea. During the Baldassarre presidency of RAI, the two opposition directors and the one closer to UDC left for internal disagreements, usually centered on censorship issues.
Antonio Cabrini. There is also a parliamentary supervisory commission, where the president is customarily a member of the opposition. Claudio Gentile. In practice the decision is a political one, which generally results in some opposition representatives becoming directors, but with a majority in the hands of the government candidates; typical numbers used to be two directors and the president for the parliamentary majority, and two directors for the opposition. Dino Zoff. The law delegated the presidents of the Chamber and Deputies to elect the president of RAI and the board of directors. Andreas Möller. The conflict-of-interest issues can be better understood in the context of the structure of control of the state media.
Stefan Reuter. In fact the FNSI, the Trade Union for Italian Journalists, organized a three day long strike to show support to the former director of the newspaper. Thomas Häßler. Yet the resignations of the director of Corriere della Sera, Ferruccio de Bortoli, were seen as a grasp for more media control from the government. Jürgen Kohler. It is also true that while the distribution of newspapers in Italy is lower than most other European countries (100 copies per 1000 individuals compared to 500 per 1000 in Scandinavian countries ), the majority of national press, which includes the three largest Italian printed dailies, La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera and La Stampa, tends to report independently of the Berlusconi government or (in the case of La Repubblica, among the three major newspapers cited above) to be very openly critical of it. Michael Laudrup. In response to such claims, Mediaset, Berlusconi's television group, has stated that it uses the same criteria as the public (state-owned) television RAI in assigning a proper visibility to all the most important political parties and movements (the so-called 'Par Condicio').
Stefano Tacconi. Mediaset, one of Berlusconi's companies, sued the Italian state broadcasting company RAI because of the Guzzanti show asking for 20 million Euros for "damages" and from November 2003 she was forced to appear only in theatres around Italy. Liam Brady. The TV broadcasting of a satirical program called RAIOT was censored in November 2003 after the comedienne, Sabina Guzzanti, made outspoken criticism of the Berlusconi media empire . Michel Platini. Left-wing politicians and media refer to this episode as the Sofia Diktat. Zbigniew Boniek. The four have never appeared in any TV shows since then.
Franco Causio. Berlusconi's influence over RAI became evident when in Sofia, Bulgaria he expressed his views on the journalists Enzo Biagi, Michele Santoro , and comedian Daniele Luttazzi after his satiric behaviour and his interview with journalist Marco Travaglio. Pietro Anastasi. . Giuseppe Furino. Reporters Without Borders states that in 2004, "The conflict of interests involving prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his vast media empire was still not resolved and continued to threaten news diversity". In April 2004, the International Federation of Journalists joined the criticism, objecting to the passage of a law vetoed by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 2003, which critics believe is designed to protect Berlusconi's alleged 90% control of national media. Fabio Capello. The Freedom of the Press 2004 Global Survey, an annual study issued by the American organization Freedom House, downgraded Italy's ranking from 'Free' to 'Partly Free'  on the basis of Berlusconi's influence over RAI, a ranking which, in "Western Europe" was shared only with Turkey (2005).
Antonello Cuccureddu. Berlusconi's extensive control of the media has been linked to claims that Italy's media shows limited freedom of expression. Roberto Bettega.  This figure includes stations he owns directly as well as those he has indirect control of through his position as Prime Minister and his ability to influence the choice of the management bodies of these stations. Roberto Boninsegna. In any event, according to The Economist, Berlusconi, in his position as prime minister of Italy, now has effective control of 90% of all national television broadcasting. Helmut Haller. The war of words between Berlusconi and the Economist has been infamous and widely reported, with Berlusconi taking the publication to court in Rome and The Economist publishing open letters against him .
Luis Del Sol. One of Berlusconi's strongest critics in the media outside Italy is the British weekly The Economist (nicknamed by Berlusconi "The Ecommunist"). José Altafini. In December 2002, Berlusconi astonished observers when he suggested that laid-off FIAT workers should take illegal non-tax-paying jobs to make ends meet.. John Charles. Even when she left his coalition, he tempted in all ways to keep her in it. Omar Sivori. Among the members of parliament elected with him is Alessandra Mussolini, grand daughter of Benito.
Giampiero Boniperti. Berlusconi later claimed that he did not mean to white-wash Mussolini, that he only reacted to a comparison, which he felt unfair, between the fascist dictator and Saddam Hussein. Ermes Muccinelli. On another occasion, Berlusconi stated that "Benito Mussolini's regime hadn't killed a single person" and that Mussolini "just used to send opposers on holiday", thus apparently denying or dismissing a long series of fascist crimes, from the murder of Giacomo Matteotti to the infamous fascist concentration camps (Rab, Gonars, etc). Carlo Parola. On one occasion, Berlusconi claimed that Benito Mussolini had been the greatest statesman in Italian history. Felice Borel. This law wasn't signed by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi so it will have to go to both houses of parliament again.
Giovanni Ferrari. One of the last bills was a penal code reform forbidding prosecutors to appeal against absolution sentences (defendants can still appeal, though). Luis Monti. a bill about the Winter Olympics also included controversial provisions tightening penalties for drugs use and peddling. Raimundo Orsi. E.g. Umberto Caligaris. In the last few days of the term, his parliament majority is approving many controversial laws, sometimes hiding one measure into a totally unrelated law.
Virginio Rosetta. Other pieces of legislation included:. Giampiero Combi. The First Pass the Post system is abolished, even if it was voted by the people in the referendum of 1993 and even if a referendum to strengthen the system failed because the needed quorum was not reached in 1999 for a few voters. First team in Europe to win Champions League/Cup Winners Cup/UEFA Cup. In October 2005, Berlusconi forced a reform of electoral law. 1985, 1996. As of January 2006, the reform has been approved by the Parliament and a referendum called by the opposition is pending.
Intercontinental Cups: 2
European Super Cups: 2
Cup Winners' Cups: 1
Italian Supercups: 4
Italian Championships: 28
Bush, said that he pushed for "a clear turnaround in the Iraqi situation" and for a quick hand-over of sovereignty to the government chosen by the U.N. President George W. Berlusconi, in his meetings with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and U.S. Italy, with Berlusconi in office, became a substantial ally to the United States of America in 2003 as Berlusconi supported the American/British-led Iraq War to oust the regime of Saddam Hussein.
and many other founding members of European Union (Germany, France, Belgium), a break from the traditional Italian foreign policy. The Berlusconi government has had a strong tendency to support American foreign policies despite the policy divide between the U.S. The government, after introducing a controversial immigration law (the "Bossi-Fini", from the names of Lega Nord and Alleanza Nazionale leaders) is searching for the cooperation of both European and other Mediterranean countries to face the emergency of the large number of immigrants trying to reach Italian coasts on old and overloaded ferries and fishing boats, risking (and, often, losing) their life.  Even so, a number of measures have been taken, but the effects are controversial.
Berlusconi himself has shown some reluctance to pursue such policies as strongly as his allies might like. Some allies of Berlusconi, especially Lega Nord (Northern League) push for a strong control of immigration and getting their support has required some changes in policies from Berlusconi. Every man in the party apparatus is appointed by Berlusconi himself: for all these reasons, its political opponents call Forza Italia "the plastic party". There are no known factions or currents; at present three party conventions have been held, all of them resolved to support Berlusconi, and his re-election by acclamation.
Internal democracy in the party is very low and internal dissent virtually non-existent. However, Forza Italia officially joined the European People's Party in 1999, theoretically choosing to be identified mainly as a Christian Democratic party. Forza Italia could be considered a liberal party on economical issues, although references to liberalism were more common in the initial years of the party development than they are now; some consider Forza Italia a populist party. As he founded his Forza Italia party and entered politics, Berlusconi expressed support for "freedom, the individual, family, enterprise, Italian tradition, Christian tradition and love for weaker people" .
He is strongly supported by the Northern League, but opposed by UDC and AN. Tremonti had been the Minister of Economy just few years earlier, but was forced to resign. Another controversial move was the nomination of Giulio Tremonti as Vice-Prime Minister. There have been harsh criticisms on Berlusconi's choices: the ministry of Health, previously occupied by Girolamo Sirchia, a famous doctor, has been given to Francesco Storace, who, only a few weeks earlier, lost the regional elections in Latium.
A key point required by UDC (and to a minor extent by AN) was to reduce the focus on tax reduction the government had had, because this was considered incompatible with Italy's financial situation. On April 23 he formed a new government with the same allies, but with some changes in the ministers and in the program. Berlusconi thus presented to the President of the Republic the dissolution of his government on April 20, 2005, after much hesitation. Two parties (UDC and NPSI) left the Berlusconi government.
In the last local elections (April 3 and April 4, 2005), the opposition The Union (formerly known as Olive Tree) won easily 12 of 14 regions where there was a vote; Berlusconi's coalition held in only two regions (Lombardy and Veneto). As an outcome of these results the other coalition parties, whose electoral results were more satisfactory, asked Berlusconi and Forza Italia for more influence in the government's political line. Forza Italia's support also reduced from 29.5% to 21.0% (in the 1999 European elections Forza Italia had 25.2%). Casa delle Libertà has done less well in the 2003 local elections in comparison with the 2001 national elections, and, in common with many other European governing groups, in the 2004 elections of the European Parliament, gaining 43.37% support.
Anyway, Berlusconi himself has always claimed he achieved all the goals of the agreement. In particoular, the Italian GDP grew very slowly during Berlusconi's Government, and the public debt rose fastly. Even if the opposition and some allied parties recognized Berlusconi could not achieve what he promised in the contract, most of his allies agree in finding the reasons of this failure in the unfavourable economical condition Italy is living. In this unofficial agreement, Berlusconi claimed he could improve several aspects of italian economy and life, as like lowering taxes, increasing employment, building up new pulic works, increasing retirement rents and struggling crime.
In a TV show during the electoral campaign, Berlusconi signed the so called Contratto con gli Italiani (agreement with Italians), that was likely a key step to achieve the victory. His success in this election led to him becoming Prime Minister once more, with the coalition receiving 45.4% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies (Italian's Lower House), and 42.5% for the Senate-House (Italian's Upper House). In 2001 Berlusconi again ran as leader of the centre-right coalition Casa delle Libertà (House of Freedoms) which includes Alleanza Nazionale, UDC (Christian Democrats), Lega Nord and other parties. .
In 1996, the ad-interim coalition formed by Northern League and centre-left was replaced, after a new election, by a centre-leftist government (without the League) led by Romano Prodi. The coalition of opposition parties (now including the League) then replaced him. In December 1994, the Northern League left the coalition claiming that the electoral pact had not been respected, forcing Berlusconi to resign from office and moving the majority's weight to the centre-left side. He was appointed Prime Minister in 1994, but his term in office was short because of the inherent contradictions in his coalition, between the League, a regional party with a strong electoral base in northern Italy, which was at that time oscillating between federalist and separatist positions, and National Alliance, a nationalist party which only then started dropping references to fascist ideology and symbols.
One of the most clamorous promises he did to win was "one million jobs more". Berlusconi launched a massive campaign of electoral advertisements on his three TV networks, and he won the elections, with Forza Italia ranking first party with 21% of popular vote. Berlusconi founded Forza Italia only two months before the 1994 elections; he formed two separate electoral alliances, with the Northern League in northern-Italian colleges, and with post-fascist National Alliance in the center and south; in a pragmatic move, he did not ally with the latter in the North, as the League disliked them: Forza Italia was then allied with two parties that were not allied with each other. They regarded: alleged bribes (to political parties and public officers in the aim of getting contracts), alleged fake invoices of Publitalia, political congress financing and television frequencies.
Furthermore, the creditor banks started asking for their money back and the advertising income stopped growing after the big increases of the previous years.
One of the most debated matters about Berlusconi has been about the true reasons Berlusconi entered into politics. This because just couple of weeks before he decided to enter into politics, the Mani Pulite affair was very close to issuing warrants for him and the chief executives of his group. This led to the expectation that elections would be won by the Democratic Party of the Left (Partito Democratico della Sinistra), (the former Communist Party and the main opposition party) and their allies of the Progressive coalition, unless there was a strong alternative: Berlusconi publicly announced on January 26th 1994 his decision to enter politics ("Going down onto the field", in his words) on a platform centered on the defeat of communism. In the early 1990s, the two largest Italian majority Parties, the Christian Democrats (Democrazia Cristiana) and the Socialist Party (Partito Socialista Italiano) lost much of their electoral strength due to a large number of judicial accusations of corruption for their foremost members (see the Mani Pulite affair).
Berlusconi also owns the football club AC Milan which some think has been an important factor in the success of his political career ("Forza Italia" means "Go Italy!", and before the party was founded it was connected to football supporters of the national team ). His brother controls Il Giornale, and his wife Il Foglio, both centre-right newspapers that print a lot fewer daily copies than the more popular Il Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica. Berlusconi's main group, called Mediaset, comprises three national television channels, which hold approximately half the national viewing audience; and Publitalia, the leading Italian advertising and publicity agency; Berlusconi also owns Mondadori, the largest Italian publishing house, which publishes Panorama, a news magazine; he has interests in cinema and home video distribution firms (Medusa and Penta), insurance and banking (Mediolanum) and a variety of other activities. In 1999 Berlusconi expanded again in the media business in a partnership with Kirch called the Epsilon MediaGroup.
In 1995, Berlusconi sold a portion of his media holdings, first to the German media group Kirch (now bankrupt) and then by public trading. Only in the 1990's was the government monopoly on information ended. For many years, the three italian TV channels owned by Berlusconi were not allowed to broadcast news and political commentary, yet they formed the main alternative to the three State-owned channels Rai Uno, Rai Due and Rai Tre. In 1986, Berlusconi tried also to expand in France with his channel La Cinq, but the project failed and he had to leave in 1990.
A strong help to his successful effort to create the first and only Italian commercial TV empire is due to his link with Bettino Craxi, at that time secretary-general of Italian Socialist Party and prime minister of Italy. In 1980 he founded Italy's first private national network Canale 5, shortly followed by Italia 1 bought from The Rusconi family (1982) and Rete 4 (1984) bought from Mondadori. This was illegal at the time, since Italian law reserved the monopoly of national TV broadcasting to the public television. Fininvest was to expand to a country wide network of local TV stations which would all broadcast the same materials, forming, in effect, a single national station.
Among the banks that helped in this funds transfer was the above mentioned Banca Rasini. The funding sources are still unknown, because of the complex system of holding companies that makes them impossible to be determined. In 1978 Berlusconi formed his first media group, Fininvest, that in five years, till 1983, was going to earn 113 billion lire (the equivalent of about 260 milion euro at 1997 value). Berlusconi later stated that he was absolutely unaware of who Mangano really was when he hired him.
Mangano left spontaneously in late 1976, concerned about Berlusconi's reputation, since many newspapers started making a scandal about his relationship to him. Berlusconi kept Mangano as an employee despite his criminal record dating back to the 1960s, and never dismissed him even when, during his time as employee in the Villa, he was imprisoned because of convictions, and suspected of arranging the kidnapping of a friend of Berlusconi. Officially Mangano was hired by Berlusconi as stable keeper, but he also took care of the Villa's security and took sometimes Berlusconi's children to school. Marcello Dell'Utri, a close Berlusconi's friend and coworker, brought in this Villa the young Mafia boss Vittorio Mangano, from Palermo (Sicily).
In 1974 Berlusconi moves with his family into Villa Casati, in Milan. His first entry into the media world was in 1973 by means of a cable television station, Telemilano, designed to service his Milano 2 residential development. Berlusconi's business career began in the construction business in the 1960s. Berlusconi did not serve the standard one-year stint in the army which was compulsory at the time.
After completing his secondary school education at a Salesian college, which he worked his way through as a singing waiter, he then studied law at the Università Statale in Milan, graduating cum laude with a thesis on the legal aspects of advertising in 1961. Palermo judges indicated Banca Rasini among those that were used for mafia money laundering, according to an interview of Michele Sindona by Nick Tosches22. Silvio takes a special pride that his father started his career in Banca Rasini as an employee and left as general manager. Silvio was the first of three children, the others being Maria Antonietta Berlusconi (born 1943) and Paolo Berlusconi (born 1949), now both entrepreneurs.
Berlusconi was born in an upper middle-class family in Milan; his father Luigi worked at a small bank, Banca Rasini, of which he became general manager in the 1960s before retiring. . Milan football team between 1986 and 2004; after his resignation - dictated by law - on December 26, 2004 the team didn't however elect a new president , so he is now merely the owner of the team. He was also the President of the A.C.
According to Forbes Magazine, Silvio Berlusconi is Italy's richest person, a self-made man with personal assets worth $12,000,000,000 (USD) in 2005, making him the world's 25th richest person . He is also the owner and founder of an Italian media empire. On April 23, 2005, he formed a new government without many changes. On April 20, 2005, Berlusconi tendered the resignation of his government after losses in regional elections and internal problems in his coalition.
In 2001, he was appointed to the office again; the second Berlusconi government is the longest-lasting in Italy's republican history. Berlusconi served as Prime Minister for a short term (seven months) in 1994. He is the leader of the Forza Italia political movement, a party which he officially announced in January 1994, to run for the first time in the general election in March of the same year.(help·info) (born September 29, 1936) is the current Prime Minister of Italy.
,  Journalists Marco Travaglio (interviewed by Daniele Luttazzi in his show Satyricon). Origini e misteri delle fortune di Silvio Berlusconi (Elio Veltri and Marco Travaglio, 2001, Editori Riuniti, ISBN 88-359-5007-4). L'odore dei soldi. ISBN 3-426-03970-2.
Die Affäre Sindona. München 1987. (de) Geschäfte mit dem Vatikan. 316 pages) Dewey class: 332.1. le memorie e le rivelazioni di Michele Sindona (Published in Milano by editor SugarCo in 1986.
(it) Il mistero Sindona. (en) Power On Earth, 1986, Arbor House Pub Co, USA, ISBN 0877957967. New York Times journalist Nick Tosches interviewes with Michele Sindona, while imprisoned in the United States:
Berlusconi and his mysteries, paper spread July 2, 2003 among the european parliamentarians by member Gianni Vattimo, written by journalists Marco Travaglio and Peter Gomez. Berlusconi's life: cronology, paper spread July 2, 2003 among the european parliamentarians by member Gianni Vattimo, written by journalists Marco Travaglio and Peter Gomez. Jewish communities split over Berlusconi, BBC News, 26 September 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/2. New storm over Berlusconi 'remarks', BBC News, 11 September 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/2.
Italian premier's brother wants plea bargain in corruption case, Financial Times, 22 April 2002, Retrieved 2005/2/1, reported on the la Margherita (the Daisy) opposition party website. Q&A: Berlusconi's battle with the courts, BBC News, 24 January 2002, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Italian president blocks reforms, BBC News, 16 December 2004, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Italian magistrates go on strike, BBC News, 25 May 2004, Retrieved 2005/2/1.
Italian judges fight reform, BBC News, 20 June 2002, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Berlusconi stuns Italian judges, BBC News, 5 September 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Berlusconi warns 'subversive' judges, BBC News, 8 August 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Berlusconi ally partially cleared, BBC News, 22 November 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/1.
Berlusconi ally jailed for bribery, BBC News, 29 April 2003, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Berlusconi scores double victory, BBC News, 5 November 2002, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Italian Senate passes disputed bill, BBC News, 2 August 2002, Retrieved 2005/2/1. Berlusconi plans to get off the hook, The Observer, 7 October 2001, Retrieved 2005/2/1.
Italy's left attacks Berlusconi, BBC news, 11 December 2004, Retrieved 2005/1/22. Berlusconi accused of Mafia links, BBC news, 8 January 2003, Retrieved 2005/1/22. Berlusconi in EU 'Nazi' slur, BBC news, 2 July 2003, Retrieved 2004/12/24. Italy immunity law provokes fury, BBC news, 25 June 2003, Retrieved 2004/12/24.
^ Silvio Berlusconi From Forbes.com's: Forbes World's Richest People, Retrieved 2006/01/03. a much shorter statute of limitation for white-collar crimes (some argued that this law was proposed to free a friend of Berlusconi (Cesare Previti) from corruption charges, but in the end people in Cesare Previti situtation were excluded by the benefits of this law) coupled with an increase in sanctions for repeated offenders. the suspension of trials against the highest authorities during their terms (this law was later declared unconstitutional). the depenalization of fake account statements.
The abrogation of the most controversial items has been the object of an unsuccessful popular referendum called in June 2005 by former allies like the Radicals together with some (but not all) left-wing parties. The law regulating assisted fertilization, actually banning free research on staminal cells, pre-implant diagnosis, and "eterogal" fertilization, forcing women into being implanted after the embryo creation, recognising embryo as a rights bearer. The anti-smoke campaign with the prohibition of smoking in offices, pubs, restaurants and other public places, which came into effect in January 2005, and has already caused a reduction of the number of smokers of about 10%. The increase in taxation on blank data storage devices — this was required by a European Union directive, but the fee in Italy is much higher than in most other EU countries, so that many people now buy them abroad.
This law was actually a small modification of a law approved by the parliament in the previous term, and which was going to be applied soon anyway. The reform of rules regarding drivers' licenses, which (according to the Italian police department) led to a 14.5% decrease in car accidents, or an 18.5% decrease of lethal car accidents. The Urbani decree, named after the Ministro per i beni e le attività culturali Giuliano Urbani, punishing whoever circulates, even via file sharing software, a film or other copyrighted material or part of it, or enjoys it with the same technology, with a 1,500 € fine, the confiscation of the instruments and the material, and the publication of the measure on a national daily paper and a periodical about shows. The abolition of compulsory military service for all male Italians (the armed forces now composed only of volunteers since 2004, anticipating the deadline set in a law passed by the previous government).
Abolition of Donation and succession taxes on high income (these taxes had already been abolished for low- and medium- income taxpayers by the previous government). ). The law on large public works (MOSE project saving city of Venice, High speed railways Turin-Milan-Florence-Rome-Naples and Turin-Verona-Venice, Bridge between Sicily and Italy, underground in Rome, Parma, Naples, Turin, Milan, a strong modernisation of Highways and Water structures in South of Italy, project "Highways on the sea", etc. The reform of the school system.
The reform of the labour system.