One of Italy's longest standing jokes, the ex 'royal' family Savoia, hits the front page again today. No, Vittorio Emanuele, the pudding-faced capo famiglia, hasn't tried to hire a few hookers for one of his 'business dinners'; he hasn't peppered anyone with shot from his hunting rifle and left him to die, or tried to open a semi-legal casino with dodgy funds and the help of a gaggle of pimps. No, his oily son, Emanuele Filiberto, whose only claim to fame is to have sold his regal aura to a pickle-making company, hasn't been arrested for rape in Geneva, his former home. He lives in Italy now. They all do, thanks to Berlusconi. They're back, from their down-lined gilded Swiss exile, to haunt us.
And what do the ungrateful minxes do? They ask the Italian state for damages. They've filed a claim for €260 million (with 54 years' compound interest) for the 'moral suffering' they underwent while in exile. Plus all their confiscated belongings. Their lawyers have written a seven-page letter to the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister. Well, obviously their lawyers have written it. I mean, seven whole pages. The Savoia's Italian just isn't good enough. Maybe they should sue for linguistic suffering too.
By the way, the woman standing next to Vittorio Emanuele isn't Elizabeth Taylor. She's a fake. Still, he seems happy enough.