London, Nov 5 (ANI): In a last-ditch attempt to save his government, Italy's beleaguered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has blamed the mafia for the latest sex scandal, claiming the underworld had framed him in reprisal for the recent police successes.
"No one today can rule out with certainty that certain things that are happening are not the fruits of an underworld vendetta," the Guardian quoted Berlusconi as telling his party leaders at a meeting on Thursday.
"In what other country in the world would the head of the government have to defend himself against a barrage of made-up stories?" he asked.
The 74-year-old, besieged as never before by sex and drug allegations, also dismissed the claims against him as 'made-up stories'.
The future of the government was already in doubt after the split with the lower house speaker, Gianfranco Fini, who co-founded the ruling PDL party with Berlusconi.
Now, pressure seems to be mounting on Berlusconi over his alleged involvement in the release of a 17-year-old belly dancer accused of theft early this year.
The scandal involving Berlusconi and his relationship to the minor comes as the latest in a string of scandals surrounding the Premier.
Another girl has reportedly said she was paid to have sex with Berlusconi on two occasions and has claimed marijuana was offered to girls at his villa in Sardinia and was flown on the Prime Minister's official plane. (ANI)