In these bleak times, we should be grateful for Silvio Berlusconi's willingness to provide much-needed levity and entertainment. The story of his encounters with Patrizia D'Addario (above) constitutes a public service:
The escort at the centre of a sex scandal involving Silvio Berlusconi has said the Italian prime minister offered her a seat in the European Parliament.
Patrizia D'Addario told the BBC the plan was abandoned by his party, People of Freedom, after his wife complained.
He also did not pay her to sleep with him, but instead promised to resolve an issue over a building permit, she said.
Mr Berlusconi has not denied that Ms D'Addario attended a party at the Palazzo Grazioli, but insists he did not pay for sex. Frankly, Miss D'Addario should thank Mrs Berlusconi. Resolving "issues" complicating a building project in Bari seems a much better result than being packed off to Brussels and Strasbourg to rot away in the European Parliament...