Italy: Former PM Silvio Berlusconi dies at age 86

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Berlusconi in October.

Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister of Italy, died yesterday in the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan at the age of 86.

Berlusconi's health had been in decline, with his doctor reporting in April that he had had leukaemia "for some time" after he was placed into intensive care with a lung infection.

Berlusconi was the longest-serving post-World War II prime minister of Italy across three non-consecutive ministries between 1994 and 2011. Forza Italia, the party he founded, have formed part of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy-led government since October.

Berlusconi's career included several scandals, such as when authorities charged him over allegedly organizing "bunga bunga" sex parties, female minors in attendance, at his villas; he was acquitted on those charges and for charges of bribing a witness in that trial, but convicted of tax fraud, having sex with a minor prostitute and abuse of power in attempting to have police release that prostitute after they detained her for alleged theft.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared: "Silvio Berlusconi made a huge impact on Italian politics over several decades and our thoughts are with the Italian people and his family".

A national day of mourning was scheduled for Wednesday.

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