Silvio Berlusconi at 75: A birthday quiz


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is celebrating his 75th birthday. To mark the occasion, here are 10 questions about the life and times of Italy's longest-serving post-war premier.

Silvio Berlusconi (AFP)

1.) Multiple Choice Question

On a visit to the New York stock exchange in 2003, Mr Berlusconi said Italy was a great country to invest in because it had lots of beautiful secretaries. He also said the country had changed and now had...

NYSE (Getty Images)
  1. Less organised crime
  2. Fewer communists
  3. A hard currency

2.) Multiple Choice Question

In May 2010, Mr Berlusconi asked Milan police to release a 17-year-old Moroccan dancer, who had been accused of theft. It's said he claimed she was related to a head of state. Which?

  1. Libya's Muammar Gaddafi
    Gaddafi (Getty Images)
  2. King Mohammed VI of Morocco
    King Mohammed (Getty Images)
  3. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak
    Mubarak (Getty Images)

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Silvio Berlusconi claims to have hired one of the following as a lawyer, before they entered politics. Which?

  1. Gerhard Schroeder
    Gerhard Schroeder (AP)
  2. Tessa Jowell
    Tessa Jowell (Getty Images)
  3. Nicolas Sarkozy
    Nicolas Sarkozy (Getty Images)

4.) Multiple Choice Question

The young Berlusconi occasionally performed as a cruise ship crooner. He also played in a band. Which instrument did he play?

  1. Piano
  2. Double bass
  3. Trumpet
    trumpet (Thinkstock)

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Mr Berlusconi, Italy's third richest man, has interests in banking, insurance, publishing, cinema and television. Which of these channels does he NOT own?

Berlusconi on a tv set (AP)
  1. Italia 1
  2. Rai Tre
  3. Rete 4
  4. Canale 5

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of the following football clubs in Italy's top league, Serie A, does Mr Berlusconi own?

  1. Lazio
    Lazio (Getty Images)
  2. Juventus
    Juventus (AFP)
  3. AC Milan
    AC Milan (Getty Images)

7.) Multiple Choice Question

Mr Berlusconi's estranged wife, the actress Veronica Lario, is part-owner of the right-wing newspaper, Il Foglio. Which publication is owned by his brother Paolo?

Italian newspapers (AP)
  1. Il Giornale
  2. La Repubblica
  3. Panorama

8.) Multiple Choice Question

Veronica Lario demanded and won a public apology from her husband, after he did something that, in her view, damaged her dignity. Which of these was it?

  1. He attended the 18th birthday party of female friend, Noemi Letizia
    Noemi (AFP)
  2. He told Mara Carfagna, a member of parliament, he would run away with her, if he were not married
    Maria Carfagna (AFP)
  3. He hinted publicly that his wife was having an affair with philosopher Massimo Cacciari
    Massimo (AFP)

9.) Multiple Choice Question

Silvio Berlusconi has been prime minister for nine of the last 17 years. Which of these pre-war figures was PM for nearly 21 years?

  1. Giuseppe Garibaldi
    Garibaldi (Getty Images)
  2. Benito Mussolini
    Benito Mussolini (Getty images)
  3. Guiseppe Verdi
    Guiseppe Verdi (AFP)

10.) Multiple Choice Question

How do you say 75 in Italian?

Candle (Thinkstock)
  1. Diciassette virgola cinque
  2. Settantacinque
  3. Settecentocinquanta


  1. It's fewer communists. "Today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one," he was quoted as saying.
  2. It's Hosni Mubarak. Mr Berlusconi does not deny calling police to secure the dancer's release and sending an aide to take custody of her. The Egyptian embassy subsequently denied there was any connection between the girl and the Egyptian president.
  3. It's Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr Berlusconi said in 2009 that he helped resolve the conflict between Russia and Georgia by talking to Vladimir Putin on the phone and sending "the good Nicolas Sarkozy, who was my advocate some years ago" to talk to Dmitri Medvedev. Tessa Jowell, the former British cabinet minister, is not a lawyer. Her estranged husband David Mills was employed as a lawyer by Mr Berlusconi in the 1990s.
  4. It's double bass. Mr Berlusconi has recorded albums as a singer, with Neopolitan performer Mariano Apicella.
  5. It's Rai Tre, which is part of the state-owned public service broadcaster, Rai. Media freedom campaigners have complained that as prime minister Mr Berlusconi is able to exercise some political control over Rai, as well as the channels he owns.
  6. It is AC Milan, one of the top teams from Mr Berlusconi's home town. Lazio, a team based in Rome, is owned by entrepreneur Claudio Lotito, while Juventus (in Turin) is controlled by the Agnelli family, the principal shareholders of the Fiat car company.
  7. It's the daily newspaper Il Giornale. La Repubblica is a centre-left newspaper, while Panorama is a weekly news magazine owned by Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset company.
  8. It's the Maria Carfagna incident in 2007. Veronica Lario did not respond publicly to her husband's remark about Massimo Cacciari. After he attended Noemi Letizia's party in 2009, she filed for divorce, saying she could not stay with a man who "consorted with minors".
  9. It's Benito Mussolini. Garibaldi led the military campaign which led to the unification of Italy in 1860. Verdi was a composer.
  10. It is settantacinque. Diciassette virgola cinque is 17.5, while settecentocinquanta is 750.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Pessimo

4 - 7 : Bene

8 - 10 : Perfetto

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