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Italy's ex-premier Berlusconi leaves hospital

Italy's ex-premier Berlusconi leaves hospital

Country's longest-serving prime minister had been receiving treatment for the past six weeks
Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi
Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi
Photo credit: Foto: Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse via ZUM

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s longest-serving prime minister, has left the hospital were he was treated for a lung infection after just over six weeks.

The 86-year-old media tycoon who leads Forza Italia, a junior party in Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s ruling coalition, was taken to the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan on April 5 suffering from a lung infection. He had already been undergoing treatment for a non-acute form of leukemia, according to doctors.

Governing allies, as well as investors, have closely monitored Berlusconi’s health due to likely repercussions on his business empire and on Meloni’s administration. 

Despite a long hospitalisation which included a period in intensive care, Berlusconi has remained at the helm of his party, and he also suited up to address a Forza Italia convention earlier this month.

If Berlusconi were to retire, the impact on the party he founded in 1994 and on his family holding company Fininvest SpA, which oversees businesses spanning from real estate to publishing and finance, could be significant.

Changes within his party wouldn’t jeopardise the stability of Meloni’s cabinet, given her broad majority and the likelihood that most of Berlusconi’s lawmakers would remain within her coalition. But Berlusconi has yet to indicate a clear successor as party leader.

Berlusconi is a pivotal figure in Italian politics, having ruled for more than nine years at the head of four different cabinets. Before becoming a politician in 1994, he founded MFE-MediaForEurope NV, formerly known as Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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