Thursday February 7 2013
Berlusconi-Balotelli race row 'embrace'

Milan Vice-President Paolo Berlusconi was photographed embracing a smiling Mario Balotelli just days after using a racist word to describe him.

Berlusconi, brother of President and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio, was filmed at a political rally declaring he was off to see “il negretto di famiglia.”

This is an extremely old-fashioned term usually used to refer to a ‘little black boy’ working for a family and hit headlines around the world. See below for video.

It is the latest gaffe from a member of the Berlusconi family, but he insisted it was a term of endearment and merely a joke.

To hammer the point home, today Milan’s official website published a picture of Paolo Berlusconi “embracing” a smiling Balotelli ahead of a friendly against Sant’Angelo Lodigiano.

“I spoke to Balotelli, though in reality there was no need, seeing as he is an intelligent lad,” Berlusconi told Milan Channel.

“He had already understood my phrase was an affectionate one that was turned into a stupid media circus. Let us close this story, as Mario told me there was no need to say anything else.”