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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi dies at 86, leaving a political legacy

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister who left an indelible mark on the country’s politics and culture, has passed away at the age of 86. His spokesperson confirmed the news, revealing that Berlusconi had been undergoing planned tests related to his leukemia at a Milan hospital.

This followed a previous hospitalization for a rare blood cancer. Despite his ailing health, Berlusconi remained the leader of the right-wing Forza Italia party, occasionally causing challenges for the current coalition government. Berlusconi’s political career spanned three terms, during which he faced both successes and controversies, leaving a significant impact on Italy’s political, economic, sporting, and television landscape.

Reflecting on his legacy, former prime minister Matteo Renzi acknowledged the profound influence Berlusconi had on the country, attracting both adoration and disdain. Berlusconi’s personal life was also under scrutiny, with his lavish lifestyle and notorious “bunga bunga” parties drawing attention. Despite his legal troubles and a conviction for corporate tax fraud, Berlusconi maintained a dedicated following who appreciated his direct communication style. While Italy faced economic challenges, Berlusconi’s media empire thrived, projecting an image of a self-made man that resonated with many voters. His passing leaves behind his girlfriend, ex-wives, children, and a significant fortune.

As details of his funeral arrangements are yet to be revealed, it is worth noting that Berlusconi had built an elaborate mausoleum at his villa to house his family and friends after their demise.


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