U2 singer Bono may have more influence on world events than previously thought. In the latest round of published WikiLeaks, the Guardian newspaper
revealed that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi considered increasing foreign aid to Africa in an attempt to avoid losing face with the Irish singer and political activist.
William Meara, the American adviser at the U.S. embassy in Rome, wrote in a leaked memo that the Berlusconi government may choose to "maintain funding levels [to Africa] simply to avoid an embarrassing tongue-lashing from Bono..."
According to the British newspaper, relations between the Berlusconi and Bono became strained in 2006 when a political pamphlet featuring the U2 singer's visage was sent to constituents' homes before the elections, claiming the singer was grateful for Italy's help in reducing global poverty.
Bono responded by penning an open letter
in an Italian newspaper in which he wrote, "Mr. Berlusconi, as flattered as I can be of appearing in your brochure, I also feel a bit exploited." He chastised the prime minister for failing to live up to financial commitments promised to developing nations. The singer has made eradicating poverty in Africa his top political priority.