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Friday, February 18, 2011

Scandal-Hit Berlusconi Attends Event With Vatican- Watch Full News

ROME — An annual celebration of the 1929 treaty that governs relations between Italy and the Vatican is taking an awkward turn, with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, engulfed in a prostitution scandal, due to mingle Friday with the Vatican's No 2. official.

Both Berlusconi and the girl, named Karima el-Mahroug and nicknamed Ruby, have denied a sexual relationship. Berlusconi denied he exerted undue pressure when he called Milan police in May to seek the release of the woman, who had been detained for an unrelated theft.

The Vatican's criticism is a blow to Berlusconi, whose conservative coalition had gained the church's favor thanks to its pro-church positions on family, life and social issues.

Berlusconi has come under criticism from the Catholic church as the scandal centering on his alleged encounters with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl have been unveiled.

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