let this be a lesson for little wedgie

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    Berlusconi cops tripod award from constituent

    Italy's Berlusconi in tripod attack
    Fri Dec 31,11:23 PM ET

    ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been slightly injured after a tourist threw a camera tripod at him in a packed Rome square, an official from the prime minister's party says.

    Berlusconi was hit behind the ear by the tripod during an impromptu walkabout in Piazza Navona shortly after sunset. The official said on Friday that Berlusconi was bruised in the attack and had seen a doctor as a precautionary measure.

    ANSA news agency said the assailant was a 28-year old bricklayer from northern Italy who was in Rome for the New Year holiday. He was seized immediately after the assault.

    "I did it because I hate him," ANSA quoted the man as telling police. "I certainly didn't plan this, but when I saw him there greeting the crowds, I couldn't stop myself," he added.

    Berlusconi's spokesman Paolo Bonaiuti said: "The prime minister is saddened, deeply saddened."

    A spokesman for Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy) party said centre-left opposition parties bore some responsibility for the attack for having created an atmosphere of hate in Italy.

    "This is the predictable fruit of a certain culture whereby ... politicians systematically incite hatred," Sandro Bondi said.

    Berlusconi, a billionaire businessman, regularly goes for unannounced walkabouts in central Rome and often stops for an ice cream in a Piazza Navona cafe.
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