Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Diagnosed With Leukaemia
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been diagnosed with leukaemia, according Italy’s leading newspaper Corriere della Derra. Citing a report in the news outlet, CNN said Mr Berlusconi’s spokesperson Paolo Russo did not deny the reports when asked about the diagnosis. Mr Russo, however, added that he is “not authorised to give health info but the Corriere della Sera is the most authoritative Italian newspaper”. News agency Reuters too quoted a source to confirm the diagnosis of the 86-year-old politician.
Mr Berlusconi was hospitalised on Wednesday after complaining of breathing issues. He is being treated in intensive care at Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital, according to Sky News.
Mr Paolo later told the outlet that Mr Berlusconi is stable. “He’s a rock.”
Mr Berlusconi has been in and out of hospital in recent years, and even contracted COVID-19.
The billionaire leader of the right-wing Forza Italia party spent four days last month at the same hospital for what Italian news reports called heart issues, before being discharged last Thursday.
Forza Italia is a member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition government, although the party attracts only about 10 per cent of voters.
After dominating Italian politics for decades, the “Cavaliere” as Mr Berlusconi is widely known in Italy, now appears physically diminished on the rare occasions he is seen in public.
Mr Berlusconi entered politics in 1994 and for millions of Italians he represented a golden age of the Italian economy and the self-made man. He served three stints as Italy’s Prime Minister before being banned from politics for six years following a conviction for tax fraud.
Despite a series of sex scandals and court cases which threatened to tarnish his image, he has held a soft spot in many Italians’ hearts.