"We can't think of deploying a large force. We would have to send as many soldiers as there are beautiful girls. And I don't think we would manage."
When asked by reporters about a proposal to deploy 300,000 troops to fight crime following a series of sexual assaults in Rome and other cities, Berlusconi responded with a quip about the beauty of Italian women one of his favorite topics. The billionaire media-mogul-turned politician later said he meant the remark as a compliment: "There are only about 100,000 people in law enforcement, while there are millions of beautiful women ... Women have to be defended. [Rape] is a trauma that remains for life." He later pointed out that people should remember his remarks are often made with a sense of "levity."