Berlusconi marriage on rocks

Rome: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s wife Veronica Lario is to seek a divorce following 30 years of marriage after finally running out of patience over his roving eye, newspapers said today.

Berlusconi himself refused to comment on the details of the reports but acknowledged a “painful” phase in his private life.

“Veronica’s choice: Farewell Silvio,” said the frontpage headline of La Stampa while the rival la Repubblica led with the headline: “I’ve decided, I want a divorce”, with both papers quoting close friends.

The two papers said Veronica had contacted a divorce lawyer and given instructions to proceed towards a

separation as quickly as possible.

The reports come only three days after Veronica wrote an open letter to newspapers saying that her husband’s well-known penchant for pretty women was a source of “suffering”.

“I want it to be clear that I and my children are the victims and not accomplices in this situation. We must put up with it and that makes us suffer,” she wrote in a letter splashed across the Italian press.

The letter, the second such public outburst from Vernonica, dealt mainly with Berlusconi’s choice of candidates from his People of Freedom party to stand in European Union elections set for June.

Some are reportedly pretty young women with no political experience, including a television actress and a former Miss Italy candidate. Berlusconi acknowledged today that his marriage was going through a rocky period.

The couple married in 1980 and have three children, all in their 20s.