ROME Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday slammed a panel of three "feminist and communist" female judges for ruling that he owed his estranged wife 200,000 euros per day as part of a divorce settlement.
On December 28, the newspaper Corriere della Sera said the divorce ruling had been deposited just before Christmas, and that Berlusconi had been ordered to pay Veronica Lario, whom he married in 1990, about 100,000 euros per day.
It was the first time Berlusconi had commented publicly on the settlement. He did not elaborate on the figure and it was not clear whether he might be including back payments that have fallen due since the separation in quoting a higher daily payment than Corriere.
"They ordered me to pay 200,000 euros a day, and this says a lot about who the Milan judges are," Berlusconi said in an interview on a talk show on the television channel La7. "They are three feminist and communist judges."
Berlusconi repeated previous allegations that Milan's judges had been persecuting him since he entered politics in 1994, because they opposed him politically.
In October, a Milan court sentenced him in the first instance to four years in jail for tax fraud, against which he plans to appeal. He is currently on trial for having sex with an under-age prostitute.
The 76-year-old is now running for a fifth term in government in a parliamentary election scheduled for February 24-25.
Lario filed for divorce from the 76-year-old billionaire in 2009, accusing him of having an affair with a 17-year-old girl.
Berlusconi said he was appealing against the settlement ruling. He also said he might be able to renegotiate amicably with Lario because his current relationship with her was "excellent". (Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Kevin Liffey)