Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi faced new allegation on Friday regarding a prostitution scandal which has added a fresh distraction to Italy’s efforts to avert a debt crisis which could tear apart the euro zone.
Berlusconi told Valter Lavitola, a shadowy consultant now wanted by police, to stay out of Italy—during an investigation into an alleged extortion plot against the premier in which Lavitola was suspected to be involved.
Niccolo Ghedini, Berlusconi’s lawyer, said in a statement that the accusation, based on a police wiretap cited by the weekly L’Espresso, was “absurd and baseless”. The story was reported on the front pages of major Italian dailies on Friday, bringing renewed calls from the opposition for Berlusconi to resign.
Enrico Letta, a senior member of the opposition Democratic Party, told the newspaper La Repubblica, “This call is the icing on the cake, not the Prime Minister runs the country actually has no leaders. He added that Mr Berlusconi should resign. Judges in Naples of an arrest warrant issued Lavitola, but his fate is unknown, and it is supposed to be outside of Italy. Berlusconi must be made by the magistrates in question next week as a witness in the case.