'You need to have tits' to be part of Berlusconi's party, claims ex MEP

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London, July 17 (ANI): An ex Italian MEP has hit out at Silvio Berlusconi, claiming that he was prevented from standing again for the Italian PM's party in the European election last month because he did not fit in with the party's "revolution" of selecting attractive young women.

In 2004, Marcello Vernola, 48, was elected to the European Parliament for Forza Italia, now part of the centre-right People of Liberty (Pdl) party.

Vernola, a lawyer from Bari, claimed he had been assured that he would stand again in June.

He says that when the claims were not turned into reality he was told by Denis Verdini, a national co-ordinator for the PdL: "Tu mica c'hai le poppe?" or "Do you have tits?" - an apparent reference to the policy by Berlusconi of appointing attractive young women as candidates.

In fact, he says, he was asked to provide names and photographs of attractive women from Bari who might make suitable candidates.

However, Verdini denied making such remarks, reports The Times.

Vernola also said that Patrizia D'Addario, the Bari escort girl who claims she spent a night with Berlusconi, was discussed as a possible MEP. She stood in the local elections in Bari but was not elected.

Vernola claimed that when he asked Berlusconi the reason as to why he was dropped, the Prime Minister told him: "I want a revolution. I want to put forward young men and women as candidates."

He said that when they parted Berlusconi said, "When are you going to present your Bari girlfriends to me?", a remark "which I only understood with hindsight". (ANI)

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