Media mogul and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was admitted to intensive care at a hospital in Milan on Wednesday and is in serious but stable condition according to local media.
Corriere Della Sera reported the 86-year-old Forza Italia founder is being treated at the San Raffaele Hospital for pneumonia stemming from a form of leukemia; this has not yet been publicly confirmed by doctors, but Reuters also reported the diagnosis citing a source. No medical bulletins were issued yesterday and it remains unclear if there will be any today. According to Forza Italia leader Paolo Barelli, Berlusconi spent “a quiet night” on Wednesday.
Berlusconi had been at San Raffaele for a few days undergoing routine tests last week. In a Facebook post after being discharged, he said he had “already returned to work on the main issues of the days, ready and determined to commit myself, as I always have, to the country I love.”
The billionaire tycoon has recently had a series of health issues including a bad bout of Covid which landed him in hospital in 2020.
A controversial figure in Italy, Berlusconi is the controlling shareholder of Mediaset, which runs TV channels, radio and a film studio, and was previously the owner of football club A.C. Milan. He served as Prime Minister for nine years, and was convicted of tax fraud in 2013.
In February this year, an Italian court acquitted him over allegations of paying witnesses to lie in an underage prostitution case that has gone on for more than a decade.
Forza Italia is part of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition. She posted a message to social media sending a “sincere and affectionate wish for a speedy recovery to Silvio Berlusconi… Come on, Silvio.”
Reuters reported that Berlusconi’s Fininvest family holding group, which retains control of Mediaset parent MediaForEurope, saw its shares rise on Wednesday amid speculation about potential M&A activity in a post-Berlusconi era.