Page last updated at 18:01 GMT, Monday, 21 November 2011

Umberto Eco on Silvio Berlusconi's 'genius'

The novelist and commentator Umberto Eco says Silvio Berlusconi was "a genius" at communicating to the Italian people.

Mr Eco said that even the former prime minister's blunders managed to increase his popularity.

He said that since the fall of Berlusconi's government, the majority of Italians are happy with the new technocratic government grappling with the country's economic problems.

Umberto Eco's latest novel, The Prague Cemetery, is set in a deeply suspicious 19th Century Europe, which as he told Jeremy Paxman, still has resonances today.

Broadcast on Monday 21 November 2011.

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