Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s ex-prime minister and media mogul, dies at 86


Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has died on Monday aged 86.

Berlusconi, a billionaire businessman who created Italy’s largest media company before transforming the political landscape,died at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan.

He led the centre-right Forza Italia party which entered a coalition under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni after elections in September.

His political career was fraught with scandals, including the tax fraud which banned him from holding political office for two years.

Two members of the Italian government mourned his passing, with Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini calling him in a statement “a great man and a great Italian.”

Defence Minister Guido Crosetto wrote on Twitter that Berlusconi’s death amounted to the end of an era.

Berlusconi, who was prime minister during 1994-5, 2001-6 and 2008-11, had been suffering from leukaemia and had recently developed a lung infection.

Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is part of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition, and although he himself did not have a role in government, his death is likely to destabilise Italian politics in the coming months.

His business empire also faces an uncertain future. He never publicly indicated who would take full charge of his MFE company following his death, even though his eldest daughter Marina is expected to play a prominent role.

Shares in MFE were up by more than 9% at around 0900 GMT.

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