When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Berlusconi Sentenced To Four Years For Tax Fraud



MILAN - Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for tax fraud in his dealings with the Mediaset televsion network, which he owns.

The case, which took six years to arrive at a verdict, is the latest in a long string of corruption cases that the billionaire media mogul has faced since entering politics 18 years ago.

Do not, however, hold your breath waiting for the 76-year-old billionaire to be led away to prison anytime soon. Milan daily Corriere della Sera notes that this is just the first of three potential steps in the Italian judicial process.

Berlusconi, who has avoided any definitive guilty verdicts in the past, would not have to serve any jail time unless he was confirmed guilty in the final appeal.

The verdict, which includes a 10 million euro fine and a prohibition of serving public office, comes two days after Berlusconi officially announced that he would not seek his fourth term as Prime Minister.

Berlusconi's boyhood friend and longtime President of Mediaset, Fedele Confalonieri, was acquitted in the same trial, which alleged tax fraud in the purchasing of broadcasting rights, La Stampa reports.

Berlusconi, who has long charged prosecutors with using the courts to persecute him politically, is also facing charges related to several sex scandals.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

The victory of Geert Wilders' far-right party in this week's elections in the Netherlands shows that politics in Europe, at both the national and European Union level, has fundamentally failed to overcome its contradictions.

Geert Wilders, The Europe Union's Biggest Problem Since Brexit

A campaign poster of Geert Wilders, who leads the Party for Freedom (PVV) taken in the Hague, Netherlands

Pierre Haski

Updated Nov. 28, 2023 at 6:15 p.m.


PARIS — For a long time, Geert Wilders, recognizable by his peroxide hair, was an eccentric, disconcerting and yet mostly marginal figure in Dutch politics. He was known for his public outbursts against Muslims, particularly Moroccans who are prevalent in the Netherlands, which once led to a court convicting him for the collective insulting of a nationality.

Consistently ranking third or fourth in poll results, this time he emerged as the leader in Wednesday's national elections. The shock is commensurate with his success: 37 seats out of 150, twice as many as in the previous legislature.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

The recipe is the same everywhere: a robustly anti-immigration agenda that capitalizes on fears. Wilders' victory in the Netherlands reflects a prevailing trend across the continent, from Sweden to Portugal, Italy and France.

We must first see if Wilders manages to put together the coalition needed to govern. Already the first roadblock came this week with the loss of one of his top allies scouting for coalition partners from other parties: Gom van Strien, a senator in Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) was forced to resign from his role after accusations of fraud resurfaced in Dutch media.

Nonetheless, at least three lessons can be drawn from Wilders' far-right breakthrough in one of the founding countries of the European Union.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest