Villains of 2011: Part 8

Silvio Berlusconi8. Silvio Berlusconi
Villain or hero? A quandary. Italians remain divided on the crooning lothario who introduced to the world's lexicon the exotic phrase 'bunga-bunga'. He partied while Rome burned. How apt that once he was ousted from office by the "traitors", he released an album of love songs.

Revisionist historians will place him (with Rupert Murdoch) centre stage in 2011, the billionaire media tycoon who was suddenly overwhelmed by the sins of the past. Like an aging Caesar, he sat in the Italian Parliament scribbling the word 'betrayal' on notepaper, while facing charges of corruption, having sex with an underage prostitute and bribery.He also wins the prize of Quote of the Year when describing Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel as the "unf**kable lard-arse".

The Eurozone crisis finally brought his reign to an end. After Italy's sovereign debt crisis led to a rating agency downgrade in the Autumn, journalists asked the 'Merkozy' couple whether Silvio was the right man to lead Italy out of the danger zone, the German and French leaders just turned to each other and smirked.

He left office with people on the streets calling him a "buffoon" – leaving behind a country on the edge of insolvency if the bond yield rises above 7% for its 10-year bonds. He now has more time to spend with his record producers and lawyers.

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