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Former Italian Prime Minister and Scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi Passes away at 86

After a brief political comeback in 2017, Berlusconi sadly succumbed to his illness at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan

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ITALY: Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, has passed away at the age of 86. He had been battling leukaemia for some time and was widely regarded as one of Italy’s most flamboyant leaders. After a brief political comeback in 2017, Berlusconi sadly succumbed to his illness at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, where he had been readmitted following treatment for a lung infection.

Matteo Salvini, a prominent Italian politician, requested a minute of silence in honour of Silvio Berlusconi’s memory. Born in 1936, Berlusconi was not only a renowned political figure but also the founder of Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster. Additionally, he served as the owner of AC Milan from 1986 to 2017.

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Berlusconi made history as the first Italian leader to be elected for a second term as president, serving from 2001 to 2006. He regained power in 2008 but was compelled to step down in 2011 due to a severe debt crisis that gripped the nation.

In 2012, Silvio Berlusconi was found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to serve part-time community service in a residential facility. However, in 2018, his ban on running for office was overturned. Subsequently, he was elected to the European Parliament in 2019 and secured a second term in 2022. Moreover, he also won a seat in the Senate.

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Silvio Berlusconi was widely regarded as a “kingmaker” in Italian politics. However, his influence was significantly affected after he underwent surgery and was hospitalized with COVID-19. Berlusconi had been married twice, first to Francesca Pascale and later to Marta Fascina. He is survived by five children.

Guido Crosetto expressed his profound sorrow upon hearing of Berlusconi’s passing, describing it as a “great, enormous pain.” Romano Prodi, another prominent figure in Italian politics, was among the first to react to the news. Prodi emphasized that despite their political rivalry, their relationship remained respectful and devoid of personal enmity. Elly Schlein, the secretary of the Democratic Party, conveyed her group’s heartfelt condolences.

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The Democratic Party also extends its sympathies to former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who described Berlusconi as a historical figure due to his significant impact on Italian political, economic, sporting, and television spheres. Berlusconi evoked both adoration and animosity, but his influence was unquestionably unmatched.

The athletic community also paid tribute to Arrigo Sacchi, under whose leadership the Milan squad clinched consecutive Champions League victories. Silvio Berlusconi eventually sold his ownership stake in AC Milan and acquired the Monza football team, successfully leading them from Serie B to Serie A.

Also Read: Inter Defeats Benfica, Set up All-Italian Champions League Semi with AC Milan


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