Three topless feminists lunged at Silvio Berlusconi as he arrived at a polling station in Milan to vote in Italy’s general election. The young women had the slogan ‘Basta Berlusconi’ (Enough with Berlusconi) scrawled on their backs.
They were quickly detained by police and dragged away. Police struggled to put their jackets and handcuffs on the women as they writhed in the snow. The feminists broke through a line outside the polling station and jumped over some tables toward Berlusconi but did not reach him.
The scandal-tainted ex-prime minister is leading a centre-right coalition in the election and polls indicate he will come second to the centre-left.
The elections are Italy’s first since billionaire tycoon Berlusconi was ousted in 2011 during a wave of financial market panic and replaced by former top European commissioner Mario Monti.
The most likely winner is the Democratic Party and its leader Pier Luigi Bersani, who says he will stick to reforms but also do more for growth as Italy endures its longest recession in 20 years.
Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister who is also a defendant in two trials for tax fraud and having sex with an underage prostitute, could come a close second.