Topless women activists protest in Milan as Berlusconi votes

Rome, Feb 25: Activists of Ukrainian women's rights group Femen stripped to the waist at a polling station in Milan where ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi voted in Italy's general election, state TV reported.

Three activists of the feminist group lunged at Berlusconi as he arrived at the polling station Sunday.

The women held a topless protest, wearing only jeans, under the slogan "Basta Berlusconi" (Enough with Berlusconi), Rai News24 reported.

Two Ukrainian and one French woman participated in the protest. The activists were quickly arrested by police, who struggled to put their jackets and handcuffs on the women.

The scandal-tainted Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister who is also a defendant in two trials for tax fraud and having sex with an underage prostitute, is expected to come a close second in Italy's parliamentary elections, which are seen as crucial for the country's effort to address its economic problems. The elections kicked off on Sunday and recent estimates gave a lead to Pier Luigi Bersani's centre-left alliance.

Ukraine's radical feminist movement Femen was established in 2008 and devoted mainly to protests on women's issues.

Later, the group made headlines for pro-democracy and anti-corruption protests in Russia, Ukraine and London.

IANS/RIA Novosti

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