Berlusconi’s new models for European elections

Angela Sozio Barbara Matera

Italian PM picks a glamorous line up of female candidates for Strasbourg poll

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 17:17 ON Thu 23 Apr 2009

Silvio Berlusconi's success with the ladies - in a political sense - shows no sign of dwindling as he unveils the roster of candidates standing for his party in the upcoming European elections.

Among the candidates standing for the People of Liberty (PdL) party are Barbara Matera (above right), 28, a former Miss Italy contestant who has since become a soap star and TV announcer, who does at least have a science degree. Another of the candidates is flame-haired Angela Sozio (above left), 31, a star of Grande Fratello - Italy's version of Big Brother. She was famously photographed perching on Berlusconi's knee two years ago at a weekend break with four other women at his luxury villa in Sardinia.

Another newcomer to the political scene is 29-year-old Eleonora Gaggioli, an actress who has appeared in the popular costume drama Elisa di Rivombosa who can be seen on the internet posing in lingerie. Camilla Ferranti, 30, who has modelled semi-naked for calendars and magazines and has also appeared in several Italian soap operas is also standing.

To prepare for life in Strasbourg, the prospective women MEPs went on a political crash course at the party's HQ where they attended a seminar in European history and current affairs, Nato, the European Central Bank and the IMF from foreign minister Franco Frattini, Ignazio La Russa, the Defence Minister, and Mr Berlusconi.

Italian PM Berlusconi, 72, has already installed several glamorous women in his cabinet, such as Mara Carfagna, a former model who was made Minister for Equal Opportunities. · 

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