Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi 'diagnosed with leukaemia' after being hospitalised with breathing problems

6 April 2023, 13:57 | Updated: 6 April 2023, 14:02

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has been "diagnosed with leukaemia" after being admitted to hospital on Wednesday.
Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (left) has been "diagnosed with leukaemia" after being admitted to hospital on Wednesday. Picture: Getty

By Chris Samuel

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi "has been diagnosed with leukaemia" following his admission to hospital on Wednesday with breathing problems.

The 86-year-old billionaire media mogul was taken into intensive care at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan after heart problems and shortness of breath.

A source told Sky News that Mr Berlusconi had been diagnosed with the blood cancer and is stable condition.

"He's stable. He's a rock," Mr Berlusconi's brother Paolo said, after visiting him on Wednesday.

The four-time prime minister has had a number of bouts of ill health in the past few years, including being hospitalised with COVID-19 in 2020.

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Mr Berlusconi, who has had a pacemaker for years, underwent heart surgery in 2016, and overcome prostate cancer decades ago.

The politician stepped down as prime minister in 2011 after dominating Italian politics for 17 years, as he faced a number of scandals, including outrage over his infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties.

Berlusconi is believed to have been diagnosed with leukaemia
Berlusconi is believed to have been diagnosed with leukaemia. Picture: Getty

Berlusconi has always described the parties as "innocent and elegant affairs".

He remains in politics, having returned to the Senate following a general election last year.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is in intensive care at Milanâs San Raffaele hospital
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is in intensive care at Milanâs San Raffaele hospital. Picture: Getty

His party Forza Italia is part of current PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition, but he doesn't have a role in her government.

Mr Berlusconi's party is part of current PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition, but he doesn't have a role in her government.
Mr Berlusconi's party is part of current PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition, but he doesn't have a role in her government. Picture: Getty

The Italian premier took to social media to which Mr Berlusconi well, writing:

"Sincere and affectionate wishes for a speedy recovery to Silvio Berlusconi."

She adding: "Come on, Silvio."

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