Berlusconi – Spanish government “too pink”

// 17 April 2008

Only a few days after being elected prime minister of Italy again, Silvio Berlusconi has said that Spain’s female-majority government is “too pink”.

EUObserver reports:

When asked by an Italian radio to comment on the composition of the Spanish cabinet of Prime Minister Zapatero – with nine female and eight male ministers – Mr Berlusconi suggested it is “too pink.”

“Now he [Mr Zapatero] has asked for it, he will have problems leading them,” said the Italian leader. “In Italy there is a prevalence of men in politics and therefore it is not so easy to find women who are ready for the government,” he added.

Unsurprisingly, the comments did not go down to well in Spain. According to The Telegraph:

Magdalena Alvarez, the infrastructure minister in the Socialist government, described Mr Berlusconi’s remarks as “absolutely inappropriate” and an “offence to citizens”.

“Many of us women would never belong to a government headed by Mr Berlusconi,” she said.

Others urged Mr Berlusconi to follow Mr Zapatero’s lead.

“In Italy, as in Spain, there are enough women sufficiently qualified, intelligent and capable of being ministers or occupying other government posts,” said Elena Valenciano, the Spanish Socialist Party’s secretary for international relations.

Berlusconi has made an attempt at scrambling back on his remarks, but this is even more offensive in its own way:

It’s possible that the female members take a series of measures stemming from the everyday life, from the concrete reality of being a mother, a wife and perhaps also a working woman,” Mr Berlusconi told reporters, according to AP.

So men make good ministers because they are good politicians; women bring personal experience of being a mother, wife, and, well, it’s a touch unlikely, but maybe a worker, to the table. Patronising much?

Other Berlusconi idiocies this week include calling illegal immigrants an “army of evil”.

Let’s just say, Italians can probably not look forward to years of progressive law-making.

Comments From You

Redheadinred // Posted 17 April 2008 at 11:10 am

I guess it’s not too surprising. We all know that when women do start to be included in anything usually patriarchy-dominated, people will react as if a team of toddlers were suddenly put to running the government. It’s amazing just how little people seem to notice that the government IS patriarchal, though! The most inept idiots get in and if they’re male it’s not considered a reflection on their gender. We’re at war right now, our society fails to provide us with the security it has a duty to provide, not a day goes by without a news story about how crap the system is and how it’s Just Not Working and no one ever says ‘It’s patriarchy.’ But heck, if women were in power and this happened it’d be like, ‘Women have ruined us! Get them out of government!’

Just keep on, Zapatero. We need people like you and other feminists to change things. In the future, there will be as many women as men in positions of prime minister and president and people will marvel looking back at the times we now live in when there was inequality. That’s my dream.

Cruella // Posted 17 April 2008 at 4:02 pm

I don’t understand how people with opinions like those get in to power. Surely no-one in their right mind votes for people like this. Which reminds me to say:


Shea // Posted 17 April 2008 at 6:19 pm

I hate Berlusconi I can’t believe he has been re-elected, how on earth did he manage to wriggle out of those corruption charges?

I’d take Spain (or anywhere really) under a predominantly female cabinet than Italy under Berlusconi. Does he not spot the irony that the women juggle possibly four roles whereas men can only manage one?

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