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Monday, February 14, 2011

Berlusconi Refuses To Step Down, Dismisses Protesters -Berlusconi từ chối từ chức, bác bỏ nhừng người biểu tình

Berlusconi Refuses To Step Down, Dismisses Protesters -Berlusconi từ chối từ chức, bác bỏ nhừng người biểu tình
Berlusconi Protest

First Posted: 02/14/11 10:18 AM Updated: 02/14/11 10:18 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Monday he had no intention of stepping down and dismissed a weekend demonstration by thousands of women across Italy over his involvement in a sex scandal.

Hundreds of thousands of women took part in rallies on Sunday to defend their dignity and protest over the underage prostitution scandal that has rocked the 74 year-old prime minister's center-right government.

The billionaire media entrepreneur told his Canale 5 network the protests were the work of his political opponents and denied that he disrespects women.

"I saw the usual factional forces mobilized against me by a certain section of the left which uses any pretext to beat an adversary whom they can't manage to beat at the polls," he told a morning program.

"All women who have had the opportunity to get to know me, know how much I respect them. I have always behaved and I always behave with great care and great respect, both in my companies and in my government."

"I have always tried to act in such a way that every woman feels special," he said.

Sunday's protests included several leading figures from the opposition center-left and many conservative middle-aged women, a group which has traditionally supported him.


Berlusconi said the government would not resign over the affair, potentially opening the way for new elections.

"There is a lot of confusion but I have very clear ideas. The interest of the country is to have a stable government which carries on with its program with determination," he said.

Milan prosecutors have requested that Berlusconi face trial over accusations that he paid for sex with a girl below the age of 18 -- an offence in Italy -- and that he improperly pressured police to release her from custody over theft allegations.

A decision on whether to accept the request is expected early this week.

Using material obtained from investigators' wiretaps, newspapers have splashed lurid accounts of "bunga bunga" sex parties involving dozens of young women at Berlusconi's private villa near Milan.

Berlusconi has never hidden his fondness for the company of young women but denies doing anything illegal and his lawyers have produced witness statements saying that the events at his villa were no more than convivial dinner parties.

"The Milan prosecutors' office and the media in contrast has trampled on the dignity of my guests, exposing them to public scorn without any reason or regard for them and trampling on the truth," Berlusconi said.

"It's really a disgrace, a big disgrace."

World Leaders' Reactions To Egypt President Mubarak's Resignation - Lãnh đạo thế giới phản ứng trước việc TT Mubarak từ chức

The Huffington Post

World Leaders' Reactions To Egypt President Mubarak's Resignation - Lãnh đạo thế giới phản ứng trước việc TT Mbarak từ chức

Barack Obama

"The people of Egypt have spoken, the voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same," President Obama said. "Egyptians have inspired us. They have done so by putting the lie to the idea that justice best gained through violence. For in Egypt, it was the moral force of non-violence, not terrorism, not mindless killing, but non-violence, moral force, that bent the arc of history toward justice once more."

David Cameron

"Egypt now has a really precious moment of opportunity to have a government that can bring the country together. As a friend of Egypt and the Egyptian people we stand ready to help in any way we can," said British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Nicolas Sarkozy
"France ardently hopes the new Egyptian authorities will take steps that lead to establishment of democratic institutions through free and transparent elections," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "France urges the Egyptian authorities to proceed as fast as feasible with the reforms needed to turn Egypt into a free and pluralist society."

Angela Merkel

"Today is a day of great joy," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference. "We are all witness to an historic change. I share the joy of the people of Egypt, with the millions of people on the streets of Egypt."

Amr Moussa
"I look forward to the future to build a national consensus in the coming period. There is a big chance now and a window has opened after this white revolution and after the president's concession," the Egyptian secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, told Al Arabiya television. Asked if he was interested in being president, he said: "This is not the time to talk about that ... As an Egyptian citizen, I am proud to serve my country with all the others at this stage, to build a consensus of opinion."

Trinidad Jimenez

"Mubarak's exit will facilitate a quicker transition to democracy, and thus allow the people of Egypt to fulfill their legitimate aspirations," Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said.

Bai Ki-Moon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a "transparent, orderly and peaceful transition" in Egypt. Ban also said he wanted to see "free, fair and credible" elections.

S.M. Krishna

"We welcome the decision of President Mubarak to step down in deference to the wishes of the people of Egypt," Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said. "We also welcome the commitment of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to ensure a peaceful transition of power in a timebound manner to establish and open and democratic framework of governance."

Sergei Lavrov

"We hope the latest developments will help restore stability and normal functioning of all power structures. We hope that not only the government but also the opposition will show willingness to stabilize the situation," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (at left) said.

Sami Abu Zuhri

"The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is the beginning of the victory of the Egyptian revolution," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza. "Such a victory was the result of the sacrifices and the steadfastness of the Egyptian people. We call upon the new Egyptian leadership to take an immediate decision to lift the blockade of Gaza and open Rafah (border) crossing permanently to allow people's free movement and in order for the reconstruction process of Gaza to begin."

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Than

This is a positive, important step toward the Egyptian people's aspirations of achieving democracy and reform and a life of dignity," said a statement from the Emir's royal council said.