The Mirror, on the latest bizarre twist of the Italian election campaign :
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi yesterday confessed to calling sex chat lines – to ask women what they thought of his policies. (…)
He called the girls to ask what they thought of him and Mr Prodi.
He told party workers at a briefing: “Seven out of the nine young ladies I called said they preferred me, which is very good news indeed.”
One aide said: “He was delighted that the women were in favour of him. It certainly perked him up.”
But a member of Mr Prodi’s camp said: “These women say anything to please the desperate men who call them.”