In the process of “saving” Italy from communism, Berlusconi developed a Christ complex as well. In interviews, he has lamented that his responsibilities are so overwhelming that he no longer has the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of his labor (such as sailing on his yacht or visiting his many vacation homes). “Italians simply do not realize how much I’ve had to sacrifice to be prime minister,” he laments, conveniently neglecting that most Italians do not have a villa on the Emerald Coast of Sardinia. In January 2007, in a perfectly brilliant synthesis of fascism and Christianity, in which Berlusconi morphed into a combined Duce and Christ, he “anointed” Fini his “heir apparent” in what amounted to a symbolic “investiture.” And if the reference to his own Christlike essence were not clear enough, Berlusconi remarked that he would happily pass to others such as Fini “the bitter chalice” of political power.
It was not the first time that Berlusconi had (ab)used the fascist past. In an interview with the British journal The Spectator, Berlusconi claimed that “Mussolini never killed anyone” and that in the practice of confino, the Italian dictator merely sent his political enemies “on holiday” to such idyllic locales as the islands of Lipari and Ponza or quaint hill towns in the Italian south, conveniently forgetting the deaths of Antonio Gramsci in prison, Piero Gobetti in exile, and the double assassination of the Rosselli brothers, which became the basis for Alberto Moravia’s novel The Conformist and Bernardo Bertolucci’s film of the same name."
Stanislao G. Pugliese, A Specter Haunting Italy.