Fashionistas Wear Blue Socks Against Berlusconi

Wednesday, 11 Nov 2009 10:34 PM

 

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MILAN, ITALY – As the political climate grows increasingly tense in Italy, the fierce battle between the supporters of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his critics is having an unlikely effect: It has turned azure socks into a political symbol.

So what do socks – of any color – have to do with politics? It started in court: Early in October, Fininvest, one of the media companies owned by the Berlusconi family, was sentenced to pay 750 million euros (US$1.1 billion) in damages in a bribery case to its rival, CIR.

Channel 5, a TV station also owned by the Berlusconi family, retaliated by secretly filming the judge who handed down that sentence, Raimondo Mesiano, and aired the reportage two weeks later. The footage was presented as a scoop of the judge’s “eccentricity” on a weekend in Milan. Judge Mesiano is shown going to the barbershop, then sitting on a bench while a voice-over says, “Here’s another oddity. He’s wearing a dress shirt, blue pants, white shoes, and azure socks … of the kind one shouldn’t wear in court.”

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