FILE PHOTO: Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during an election campaign event at Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy, September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
Former Italian head of government Silvio Berlusconi is “stable” on Thursday after spending the night in an intensive care unit in Milan, a minister from his party said.
The 86-year-old politician and media mogul, now a senator, has been hospitalized several times in recent years, and on Wednesday he was admitted to the cardiology unit of Milan’s San Raffaele hospital for respiratory problems linked to a relapse of pneumonia.
Italy’s best-selling daily, Il Corriere della Sera, reported, without citing sources, that the tycoon suffers from leukemia. The pain that afflicts him and the pneumonia of the last days would actually be complications that can take over an already weakened physique.
According to Ansa, Berlusconi started chemotherapy yesterday, after hospitalization.
This Thursday his children, his brother and his partner Marta Fascina went to the hospital.
One of Berlusconi’s sons, Luigi Berlusconi, arrives at the San Raffaele hospital (REUTERS/Claudia Greco)
Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, a member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, told Rai Uno radio that he had spoken with the magnate’s doctor.
“He told me that Silvio Berlusconi had a quiet night, that his situation is stable,” he said.
Forza Italia’s leader in the Chamber, Paolo Barelli, said the former prime minister was dealing with an infection “from something he already had” and had to be hospitalized for tests.
“In the next few hours they will inform us of the evolution,” he explained.
Questioned by the rumors circulating that Berlusconi might have leukaemia, Barelli has preferred “not to go into specific details” and has asked to avoid spreading this type of information, and to respect and show concern for Berlusconi, a politician “who leaves his mark with his activity ”.
In this file photo, Silvio Berlusconi waves as he leaves the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, on Sept. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)
Berlusconi was rushed to hospital after complaining of breathing difficulties and low blood oxygen levels, putting stress on his cardiovascular and respiratory systems, Italian media reported.
Berlusconi, 86, was hospitalized between March 27 and 30 and, upon leaving the medical center, declined to make statements to the press. On that occasion, a bone marrow sample was taken and treatment for leukemia began. He had already been hospitalized in this same center on other occasions, the last one in January 2022 due to a urinary tract infection.
Berlusconi, who entered politics in 1994, served as prime minister for a total of nine years between that year and 2011, and dominated his country’s politics for two decades, despite sex scandals and lawsuits tarnishing his image.
Despite his age and the various legal cases that he has had open for years, he remains a popular figure in Italy. In fact, in the last elections he was able to return to an elected position as a senator and his party Forza Italia is a junior partner of the right-wing coalition of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
(With information from Europa Press and AFP)
Silvio Berlusconi was admitted to intensive care in Milan for a heart problem