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Berlusconi’s ‘Slavish’ Courtship of Qaddafi Haunts Italy

In his pursuit of business with North Africa’s longest-serving dictator, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi let Muammar Qaddafi pitch his tent in the heart of Rome.

Berlusconi shut down the city’s biggest park in June 2009 to allow the visiting Libyan leader and his entourage of all-female bodyguards to set up camp by the 16th-century Villa Doria Pamphili. A year earlier, Italy agreed to pay $5 billion over 25 years to its former colony in reparations.