The 50-plus votes and allegations that failed to sink Berlusconi

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes in his political career, surviving yet another at least implicit one on Tuesday. But he is still headed out the door, he says. Here’s a look at the many things that would have taken down many other world leaders.

Mafia charges

Berlusconi has never stood trial for any of the accusations that he has mafia ties, but a party member was sentenced to jail time as a result.

A senator in Berlusconi’s party, Marcello Dell’Utri, was put on trial a decade ago based on accusations of using a Berlusconi-related advertising business to launder mafia money. A former mafia member who became a witness for the state said that Berlusconi used to “be in touch” with top mafia boss Stefano Bontade, BBC reports. 

According to a timeline from British newspaper The Telegraph, mafia allegations against Berlusconi go back to the 1970s. Some claimed that the mafia invested heavily in Berlusconi’s early business ventures. In 1993, a mafia turncoat said that in 1992, the year before Berlusconi first became prime minister, he struck a deal with Cosa Nostra to provide favors – including support for the mafia's deadly bombings in Italy in 1993 – in exchange for the mafia's political backing. Berlusconi's spokesman denied the claims, saying that the mafia was smearing Berlusconi in revenge for his government's crackdown on crime.

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