Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi in intensive care


Italian ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who dominated politics for decades, was in intensive care on Wednesday for heart problems, a member of his entourage told AFP.

The 86-year-old media mogul and senator, who has been in and out of the hospital in recent years, is currently in Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital, the source said.

Italian news agency Ansa said he was admitted early Wednesday and that his current condition was “stable”.

Berlusconi, the billionaire leader of the right-wing Forza Italia party, spent four days last month at the same hospital for what Italian news reports called heart issues, before being discharged on March 30.

After dominating Italian politics for two decades, the “Cavaliere” as he is widely known in Italy, now appears visibly diminished on the rare occasions he is seen in public.

Long gone are the days of his infamous erotic “bunga bunga” parties with young starlets, which he has always insisted were nothing more than elegant dinners.

Berlusconi was in hospital for 11 days for Covid-related pneumonia in September 2020, after contracting the virus while on holiday in Sardinia, describing it as “perhaps the most difficult ordeal of my life.”

The following year, Covid-related complications caused a series of hospital stays.

Berlusconi, who served as prime minister three times after entering politics in 1994, had open heart surgery in 2016 and surgery on his intestine three years later.

Forza Italia is a member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s coalition government, although the party attracts only about 10 percent of voters.

Berlusconi won a seat in Italy’s Senate during general elections in September, nine years after he was kicked out from the upper house of parliament after a conviction on tax fraud.

© 2023 AFP