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HomeGlobalSilvio Berlusconi, former Italian Prime Minister, dies at 86

Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian Prime Minister, dies at 86

Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire mogul and media braggart who was Italy’s longest-serving prime minister despite scandals over his sex-laden parties and various allegations of corruption, He passed away Monday at the age of 86.reported the Italian media.

Berlusconi’s Mediaset television channel announced his death with a smiling photo of the man on its website and the headline: “Berlusconi is dead.”

Berlusconi was hospitalized on Friday for the second time in months for treatment for chronic leukemia. Over the years he also suffered from heart ailments, prostate cancer, and was hospitalized for COVID-19 in 2020.

Berlusconi — once a cruise ship singer — used his television networks and immense wealth to launch his long political career, inspiring both loyalty and loathing.

To his admirers, the three-time prime minister was a capable and charismatic statesman who sought to elevate Italy to the world stage. To his critics, he was a populist who threatened to undermine democracy by exercising political power as a tool to enrich himself and his business.

your political party Forza Italy it is a coalition partner with current prime minister Giorgia Meloni, a far-right leader who came to power last year, despite never holding any government post.

His friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin put him at odds with Meloni, a staunch Ukraine supporter. On his 86th birthday, as the war raged, Putin sent his best wishes and his vodka to Berlusconi, and the Italian bragged that he had returned the favor by returning Italian wine.

Another former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, recalled Berlusconi’s divisive legacy with a tweet: “Silvio Berlusconi made history in this country. Many loved him, many hated him. Everyone must recognize that his impact on political life, but also economic, sports and television, is unprecedented ”.

League party leader Matteo Salvini called Berlusconi “a great man and a great Italian.”

As Berlusconi aged, some mocked his perpetual tan, his hair transplants and girlfriends who were decades younger. Yet for many years Berlusconi seemed untouchable despite various personal scandals.

Criminal cases were brought against him, but ended in dismissals when statutes of limitations expired in Italy’s slow judicial system, or when he won appeals. Investigations focused on calls “bunga bunga” parties of the tycoon – which involved young women and minors – or his businesses, which included the AC Milan soccer team, the three largest private television networks in the country, magazines and a newspaper, and advertising and film companies.

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