His doctor at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, confirmed the 85-year-old politician had been admitted for “periodic clinical examinations” planned for a while.
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Silvio Berlusconi was back in hospital on Sunday January 23 for examinations of “routine”, said his spokesman the day after the billionaire withdrew from the race for the presidency of Italy. His doctor at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, confirmed the 85-year-old politician had been admitted for “periodic clinical examinations” planned for a while. One of the former Prime Minister’s political allies, the leader of the far-right La Ligue movement, said he had a long telephone conversation with him. According to Matteo Salvini, Silvio Berlusconi was “calm and healthy”.
The former head of the Italian government had campaigned vigorously behind the scenes for the Italian presidential election, which begins Monday January 24 in Parliament, but he finally withdrew on Saturday evening. His candidacy had little chance of succeeding, in particular because of the legal proceedings against him for orgies he organized in a villa with prostitutes.
Silvio Berlusconi said he was stepping down in a spirit of “national responsibility”, considering that Italy had “need unity” as she battles an outbreak of Covid-19. But Italian media say his family are worried about his health. Prime Minister (with the center-right Forza Italia party) three times between 1994 and 2011, he had undergone open-heart surgery in 2016 and has been in hospital several times in recent months. In September 2020, after being hospitalized for 11 days for pneumonia due to Covid-19, he said he narrowly escaped death.
Observers doubted that he has enough votes to become president among the thousand deputies, senators and regional elected officials who must appoint the new head of state who will succeed Sergio Mattarella. The favorite is the former head of the European Central Bank and current Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, at the head of a government of national unity. But the outcome of the ballot, which is held by secret ballot, is deemed difficult to predict.