Silvio Berlusconi recovers from attack in glamorous company:
Silvio Berlusconi proved he was on the mend after his attack by inviting a glamorous young Italian MP to a birthday celebration.A similar news report can be found here.
He has barely left hospital for injuries sustained in an assault in Milan last month. But the Italian prime minister, who bears scars to his face from the Dec 13 attack, was photographed beaming as he sat next to Michaela Biancofiore, a member of his People of Freedom party.
He invited her to his villa at Arcore outside Milan, where he is recuperating after a man with a history of mental illness smashed a souvenir of the city's Gothic cathedral into his face, leaving him with a fractured nose, two broken teeth and cuts to his lip.
The pair celebrated Miss Biancofiore's 39th birthday with a cake on which a cartoon crafted from icing depicted the young MP with out-sized breasts and a low-cut blouse and the prime minister with his arms around her, sticking his middle finger up in the air.
The caricature was a reference to a rally which Mr Berlusconi attended with the young MP in Bolzano, northern Italy, in 2005, in which he told jokes to supporters and raised his finger in apparent defiance of his political enemies.
"When he saw the cake, he laughed a lot, but it stretched the stitches on his face and that made him recall the attack," said Miss Biancofiore, who is a senior member of the prime minister's governing coalition in the northern region of Trentino Alto Adige.
She said that while she was afraid that the encounter might be subject to "gossip and slander", nothing improper had happened between her and the prime minister and that they were not alone during the birthday celebrations at his residence, Villa San Martino.
Mr Berlusconi had been "generous and kind as usual", she told the newspaper Corriere della Sera, adding she had ordered the cake herself.
Mr Berlusconi, 73, is being divorced by his wife of 20 years, Veronica Lario, 53, after a string of episodes involving starlets and showgirls.
He underwent a medical check-up at the weekend, with doctors saying he was making a satisfactory recovery.
His personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, said the billionaire premier had respected medical advice not to engage in any public activity, including cabinet meetings, for two weeks after the attack.
He is expected to return to public engagements at the end of this week.
Read more about member of the Italian parliament, Biancofiore, here and here.
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