Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to abandon plans for an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist, after Italy’s Constitutional Court overturned a law granting him immunity from prosecution while in office.
Mr. Berlusconi was reported to be despondent today after the judgement, which could see him stand trial on several counts of corruption. But sources close to the controversial Premier say this is not the principal cause of his gloom: instead, Berlusconi is ruing his missed chance to pull off ‘the big one’ by raiding Italy’s biggest casino, the Casino de la Vallée di Saint-Vincent.
“He was really looking forward to it,” the Prime Minister’s associate, Gianluca ‘Fingers’ Manotti told us told us. ‘He had this big plan and everything — he spent weeks perfecting it. But it kind of depended on him being able to do basically whatever he wanted without fear of recrimination. Otherwise it would just be a bunch of guys going into a casino and taking all the money, which is still illegal under Italian law.”
Another source, speaking to us earlier today, expressed concern for the effect the ruling would have on the day-to-day running of the country.
“Silvio was counting on staying above the law for the remainder of his tenure as Prime Minister, so this is a real blow,” said Luigi ‘Babyface’ Scarlatti. “The wheels of Italian politics need to be greased, and a Prime Minister who can’t just get away with doing whatever the hell he feels like will be seriously limited. This decision can only lead to a lamentable decrease in the number of bribes and backhanders handed out to witnesses, corrupt lawyers and enraged parents. Plus it means we can’t hit that casino like we wanted.” Mr Scarlatti paused for a moment, looking wistfully into the distance.
“Man, that would’ve been a big score,” he added, with a sigh.
Mr. Berlusconi now plans to take a short holiday to recover from the shock of the court’s decision. Reports suggest that the Prime Minister will be accompanied by the ministers for the Environment, Equal Opportunities and Tourism, all of whom will be bringing their bikinis.