|Berlusconi's banner in Kharkiv, Ukraine|
They started it, not us, would reply Mr Hennadiy Keres, Mayor of the second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv, if asked why he decided to put up a giant banner with a bilingual writing, citing “Hands off Berlusconi. Because of him Italy has lost millions. Municipality of Rome, support not only Ukraine's Prime Minister but also yours!”
And – in a way – he is right, since Rome's Mayor, Gianni Alemanno (of Berlusconi's PdL), stuck up a (quite smaller) picture of former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko outside his office on Rome's Capitol Hill a couple of days before, with the following writing on it: “Free Yulia Tymoshenko”
One of the small difference between the two causes, is that the 76-year-old former Italian Prime Minister is far from being jailed, actually he is threatening to start a new party, in sight of parliamentary elections in 2013. Berlusconi was given a four-year sentence for tax fraud, but he is still free pending appeals and he's not likely to ever get into jail, due to his age.
|Yulia Tymoshenko's banner in Rome, Italy|
The first woman to become Ukraine's prime minister, 52-year-old Tymoshenko (her birthday was on the 27th of November) was actually prisoned back in December 2011 in the city of Kharkiv (she is now receiving treatment at a hospital) where she is expected to serve a seven-year term for abuse of office in relation to a natural-gas deal with Russia.
Berlusconi and his supporters say the charges are politically motivated, just like Tymoshenko and her supporters say. Both – according to the Mayor of Kharkiv – cost money to their countries.
The European Union and the United States have decried Tymoshenko imprisonment as selective justice, they do not seem much impressed by Berlusconi's claims that Italy is a magistocracy, rather than a democracy (and therefore he will go on fighting, instead of retiring).
Silvio like Yulia?