Silvio Berlusconi's troubled political career took a hit when yet another of his ministers resigned, this time the PM's pretty protege Mara Carfagna, Press TV reports.
Named the world's most beautiful minister by the German Bild magazine, Carfagna was appointed as minister of equal opportunities by Berlusconi while she was working as a "television showgirl and model," reports the Telegraph.
Carfagna is reportedly the fifth of Berlusconi's ministers to resign in a little over a week, setting the stage for a no-confidence vote that has been scheduled for December 14. While long favored by the premier, Carfagna clashed with the Berlusconi and his People of Freedom Party over the widely-criticized handling of a trash crisis in Naples, which is in Carfagna's home region. Mr. Berlusconi has insisted he still has the votes to win a confidence vote despite the resignation.
Carfagna's appointment originally drew some ire, as Berlusconi was overheard saying he would marry the new minister if he weren't already wed. But as the Independent reported:
However, supporters of Carfagna point out that, aside from appearing topless in calendars and voluptuously underdressed as the eye-candy on one of Berlusconi's TV channels, the young woman from Salerno has a law degree and is an accomplished swimmer, dancer and pianist.
See pictures from Carfagna's all-too-brief stint as a minister below:
At a conference, in Ankara, Turkey, 2010.
Speaking with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on July 29, 2010.
At a Violence Against Women Conference on February 11, 2010 in Milan, Italy.
Arriving at the Capitole hill to receive G8 first ladies.
At a press conference in 2008.
At the swearing in ceremony for the new Berlusconi government in 2008.