Bono blasts Italian prime minister

Star says he feels "exploited" for being used in election magazine

U2 frontman Bono has slammed Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for using his picture in an electioneering magazine.

The Italian elections happen next week (April 9/10) and the glossy brochure, published by Berlusconi‘s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, has been sent to millions of Italian households. It lists the leader’s acheivements and features many photos of him alongside world leaders. It plays on the work Bono has done in campaigning for Africa.

“Mr Berlusconi, as flattered as I can be of appearing in your brochure, I also feel a bit exploited,” Bono said in the letter.

The caption on the Bono picture reads:

“The Irish star is grateful to the prime minister for the actions promoted by the Italian government towards poor countries”.

In his letter, Bono said he recalled a conversation with Berlusconi during which the prime minister pledged to fulfil the promises made by the G8 in Gleneagles, Scotland, last year in a statement signed by Berlusconi along with the other leaders, Reuters reports.

He said Italy would have to more than double its handouts by 2010 to honour its commitment.

“If your commitment is real and your signature is trustworthy, then the world wants to know how Italy intends to reach this target,” Bono added.