Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi dies at 86 after leukemia battle

Italy mourns the passing of Silvio Berlusconi, its former Prime Minister and billionaire businessman, who died at the age of 86. Known for creating the country’s largest media company and transforming the political panorama, Berlusconi had confronted a quantity of legal and intercourse scandals all through his career. His well being had been in decline in latest months, including a battle with COVID-19 in 2020 and a analysis of leukaemia in April 2023.
Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto expressed his condolences on Twitter, stating that Berlusconi’s demise leaves a “huge void” and describing him as a great man. Berlusconi’s political celebration, Forza Italia, was a coalition associate with the current Premier Giorgia Meloni, a far-right leader who got here to power final yr.
Alan Friedman, the author of a biography on Berlusconi, described him as a “very historic determine in post-war Italian history” and a controversial character. Berlusconi was known for his populist method to politics within the Nineteen Nineties and was liked by his followers.
Berlusconi’s impact on Italian politics was important, as he was the longest-serving prime minister and thought of a kingmaker in politics. He additionally transformed tv with his group, Media set, which influenced Italian media and every day life.
Despite going through quite a few scandals, Berlusconi remained a strong determine. Investigations focused his businesses, including AC Milan, and his infamous “bunga bunga” parties. Only one case led to a conviction, a tax fraud case involving the sale of movie rights in his business empire. He was spared jail as a end result of his age and was ordered to do neighborhood service. Berlusconi was subsequently stripped of his Senate seat and banned from running or holding public workplace for six years.
Berlusconi continued to guide Forza Italia, the centre-right celebration he created within the Nineteen Nineties. However, with Template , the party’s help dwindled. Berlusconi ultimately returned to workplace, being elected to the European Parliament at age eighty two after which to the Italian Senate final yr.
As Italy’s political right shifted, Berlusconi’s party was eclipsed by the League, led by anti-migrant populist Matteo Salvini, and Meloni’s Brothers of Italy celebration, which has roots in neo-fascism. Berlusconi additionally lost his standing as Italy’s richest man, although he remained a billionaire because of his expansive media holdings and luxurious actual property..

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