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Berlusconi 's popularity keeps him relevant in new Italy turmoil, despite fall from grace

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    In this Dec. 4, 2013 photo former Premier Silvio Berlusconi attends the launch of a book "Sale, zucchero e caffe'" (Salt, Sugar and Coffee) by his friend, journalist Bruno Vespa, in Rome. He has been convicted of tax fraud, booted out of the Senate and banned from political office. In any other country, that would be three strikes. But in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has not lost his political legitimacy, and it will be on full display when he leads his Forza Italia party to meet with Italy’s president to discuss prospects for a new government after Premier Enrico Letta’s resignation Friday. Berlusconi’s reemergence on Italy’s political scene comes just days after a court in Naples put him on trial yet again, this time for allegedly paying a senator 3 million euros ($4 million) to switch parties to bring down a rival government. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE -- In this Nov. 27, 2013 photo, Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he addresses supporters in Rome. He has been convicted of tax fraud, booted out of the Senate and banned from political office. In any other country, that would be three strikes. But in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has not lost his political legitimacy, and it will be on full display when he leads his Forza Italia party to meet with Italy’s president to discuss prospects for a new government after Premier Enrico Letta’s resignation Friday. Berlusconi’s reemergence on Italy’s political scene comes just days after a court in Naples put him on trial yet again, this time for allegedly paying a senator 3 million euros ($4 million) to switch parties to bring down a rival government. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (The Associated Press)

He has been convicted of tax fraud, booted out of the Senate and banned from political office.

In any other country, that would be three strikes.

But in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi has not lost his political legitimacy, and it will be on full display when the former premier leads his Forza Italia party to meet with Italy's president to discuss prospects for a new government after Premier Enrico Letta's resignation Friday.

Berlusconi's reemergence on Italy's political scene comes just days after a court in Naples put him on trial yet again, this time for allegedly paying a senator 3 million euros ($4 million) to switch parties to bring down a rival government.