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Italy's Prime Minister Worried About Pissing Off Bono

Italy's Prime Minister Worried About Pissing Off Bono

This sounds like the premise of an SNL skit: Per yet another document obtained via WikiLeaks, embattled Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi almost increased Italy’s 2009 foreign aid budget because he was scared of getting publicly yelled at by Bono. Or something like that. According to the now public 2008 memo, the economic advisor of the American embassy in Rome noted that a member of Berlusconi’s administration revealed the PM was considering upping funds to Africa “simply to avoid an embarrassing tongue-lashing from Bono.”

 

It didn’t work, by the way. Berlusconi ultimately backed out of promises about aid levels to Sub-Saharan Africa, and Bono and Bob Geldof got back at him by creating an online videogame at his expense. (In it, a hammer thrower tosses a cartoon version of Berlusconi into the air). So much for presidents taking policy directives from rock stars, I guess. [Spinner]

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