Milan, Italy – Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, who left an indelible mark on the nation’s political and cultural landscape, has passed away at the age of 86, according to his spokesperson. The billionaire media mogul had been admitted to a Milan hospital on Friday for pre-planned tests related to his leukaemia, after recently being discharged from a six-week stay in the same hospital.
Berlusconi’s health had been a cause for concern for several years, having undergone heart surgery in 2016 and being hospitalized for COVID-19 in 2020. Despite his health struggles, he was re-elected to the Senate last year, although he rarely made public appearances. Nevertheless, he remained the official head of the right-wing Forza Italia party, which served as a junior partner in Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s coalition government.
The former prime minister, who led Italy on three occasions from 1994 to 2011, a total of nine years, captivated voters with his promises of economic success. However, his tenure was marred by a severe debt crisis that ultimately forced him out of office. Berlusconi’s influence extended far beyond politics, as he held extensive interests in television, newspapers, and sports. Moreover, his notorious playboy lifestyle ensured that he remained a prominent figure in the media throughout his later years.
Berlusconi is survived by his 33-year-old girlfriend, Marta Fascina, as well as two ex-wives and five children. Some of his children are actively involved in running his empire, which has recently been estimated to be worth around $7 billion. While funeral arrangements have not yet been disclosed, it is known that Berlusconi constructed an extravagant Pharaoh-inspired marble mausoleum at his villa in Arcore, near Milan, with the intention of housing his family and close associates when they pass away.
The passing of Silvio Berlusconi marks the end of an era in Italian politics and media. His controversial and eventful life will undoubtedly be remembered as one that left a lasting impact on Italy and its people. As the nation mourns the loss of one of its most iconic figures, tributes are pouring in from both political allies and adversaries, acknowledging his significant contributions and the complex legacy he leaves behind.
Sources By Agencies