Italy. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has died

Berlusconi, 86, has been admitted to Milan’s San Raffaele hospital since Friday. According to RepublicThe former Italian ruler passed away around 9:30 am after his health deteriorated.

The former prime minister was suffering from leukemia and recently suffered a lung infection. Already in April, Berlusconi was admitted to intensive care at the same hospital after complaining of “shortness of breath”. In 2016, he underwent heart surgery, and in 2020 he spent several seasons in hospital due to complications due to Covid-19. He had had heart problems in the previous decade, and in the 1990s, he underwent surgery for a tumor, among other minor complications.

The Forza Italia party leader, media mogul and former president of AC Milan spent 45 days in the same hospital until three weeks ago due to pneumonia and leukemia.

On Friday, Spanish news agency EFE reported that Berlusconi had been hospitalized for “scheduled checks” and that his condition was not serious or life-threatening.

Silvio Berlusconi was Prime Minister of Italy for three terms, nine years in power. He was a controversial figure and involved in several tax and sex scandals, and was expelled from the Senate in 2014, although the Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2015.

He returned to the Senate in September 2022 along with Georgia Maloney.

He was the Prime Minister between 1994 and 95, 2001 and 2006, and between 2008 and 2011. His last term ended with his resignation, with the country on the brink of economic collapse and a sex scandal known as “Bunga Bunga”. He was acquitted this year of bribing women to not reveal what was going on at the parties.

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Nine years later, at the age of 86, the multi-millionaire, businessman and conservative Italian politician returned to the Italian political scene as a senator and leader of the party he founded. Currently in power – the country’s first government is led by a far-right woman, Prime Minister Georgia Meloni – although she holds no government office.

Between July 2019 and October 2022, as a member of the European People’s Party (PPE, Christian Democrats) Group, he also served as the oldest Vice-President of the European Parliament.

Born on September 29, 1936, the son of a Milanese bank clerk, Silvio Berlusconi, a big fan of the American singer Nat King Cole, began working as an entertainer on cruise ships in the Mediterranean, singing and performing jokes while studying law.

After completing his degree at the University of Milan, he threw himself into business: he began an incredible rise that raised questions about the origin of his fortune, the biggest in Italy for ten years and he was always obscure. In 2023, American magazine Forbes ranked his and his family’s wealth as the 352nd largest in the world, with a net worth of $6.8 billion (about €6.2 billion).

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