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Silvio Berlusconi has been placed in intensive care to recover after four-hour heart surgery to replace a defective heart valve, Milan’s San Raffaele hospital said giving no further details.

Sources told Ansa news agency the operation had been a success.

The 79-year-old former Italian prime minister is likely to take a month to recover.

Silvio Berlusconi served as prime minister four times but has since been convicted of tax fraud and bribery.

Italy's Court of Cassation has confirmed a two-year ban from public office imposed on Silvio Berlusconi after he was found guilty of tax fraud

Italy’s Court of Cassation has confirmed a two-year ban from public office imposed on Silvio Berlusconi after he was found guilty of tax fraud

He was admitted to hospital last week after suffering a heart attack his doctor said could have killed him.


Silvio Berlusconi is expected to remain in intensive care for another 48 hours.

“Everything is okay guys, now I can speak more calmly,” Gianni Letta, an ally of Silvio Berlusconi, told AGI news agency.

On June 13, Silvio Berlusconi wrote on his Facebook page he was “concerned” by the looming operation.

“But I am also very moved by the very many demonstrations of appreciation, support and affection which I have received from everywhere, even from political rivals,” Silvio Berlusconi added.

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Silvio Berlusconi is to have heart surgery after an attack that could have killed him, his doctor says.

The former Italian prime minister will undergo surgery by the middle of next week to replace a defective aortic valve, Dr. Alberto Zangrillo told reporters in Rome.

Silvio Berlusconi, 79, served as prime minister four times but has since been convicted of tax fraud and bribery.Silvio Berlusconi acquitted in Rubygate affair

His political influence has waned since he left office in 2011.

Dr. Alberto Zangrillo said Berlusconi had “arrived at the hospital in a severe state”.

“He risked his life, he risked dying and he knew it… We have identified in an exact and certain way a pathology of aortic valve that is called aortic insufficiency,” the physician said.

“There’s only one way to correct it, which is the substitution of the aortic valve.”

Alberto Zangrillo added that his patient had been shocked by the news.

“At the beginning he didn’t want to believe it,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

“For a man who wants to live to be 130, this is a very unpleasant jolt.”

Silvio Berlusconi, a billionaire businessman who leads the Forza Italia party, was taken into hospital for tests in his home city, Milan, earlier this week.

A spokeswoman for the party said at the time Silvio Berlusconi’s condition was not life-threatening.

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The head of a Crimean winery is to be prosecuted in Ukraine for allegedly opening a 240-year-old bottle for Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi spent last weekend in Crimea touring ancient ruins.

Prosecutors say they drank at Crimea’s renowned Massandra winery.

Massandra was Ukrainian government property before Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

Any charges could not currently be pursued in Crimea, where Russia has full control.Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi at Massandra winery in Crimea

Russian media cited by Radio Free Europe reported that Silvio Berlusconi asked if he could sample the wine during a tour of Massandra.

A witness said Massandra’s new pro-Russian director Yanina Pavlenko in response uncorked a precious bottle of 1775 Jeres de la Frontera for her prestigious guests. The Spanish wine was brought to Crimea by Count Mikhail Vorontsov, during the reign of Catherine the Great.

Russian television last week showed Silvio Berlusconi carefully surveying dust-covered bottles of wine while Vladimir Putin listened to Yanina Pavlenko as she gave them the tour.

Later, Silvio Berlusconi is seen looking at a bottle identified to be from the vintage of 1891, and asked in English: “Is it possible to drink?”

Yanina Pavlenko replied: “Yes.”

It is unclear what happened to that bottle, but Ukrainian prosecutors say the bottle they are concentrating on was worth more than $90,000. They say they are preparing embezzlement charges against Yanina Pavlenko.

“This is one of the five bottles that constitute not only Massandra’s or Crimea’s heritage, but the heritage of all Ukrainian people,” Nazar Kholodnytsky, first deputy prosecutor for Crimea told the Associated Press in Kiev.

He said two bottles similar to the one allegedly consumed were auctioned in London in 2001 and one fetched nearly $49,700 (€44,000).

“The funds went to the state coffers and supported the development of Massandra and wine-making in Crimea,” Nazar Kholodnytsky said.

Yanina Pavlenko’s predecessor as governor, Nikolay Boyko, was dismissed in February after Russian prosecutors filed fraud charges against him.

The new governor is herself wanted in Ukraine for treason after she voted in favor of Russian annexation in 2014.

“Now she’s added one more crime to high treason,” Nazar Kholodnytsky said.

Prince Lev Golitsyn started the first winery in Crimea in 1894, and since then its wines have been celebrated in the Soviet Union and Russia. The Massandra wine cellars hold about 500,000 bottles, including 5 bottles of the 1775 Jeres de la Frontera.

Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi enjoyed good personal relations when the Italian leader was in power, which they have maintained since he left office in 2011.

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Italy’s Court of Cassation has confirmed former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s acquittal on charges of abuse of office and paying for an underage prostitute in what is known as “Rubygate”.

Silvio Berlusconi was convicted in 2013 in what became known as the “bunga bunga” case or Rubygate, but won an appeal in 2014.

Italy’s highest court has now rejected prosecutors’ appeals to overturn the acquittal and hold a fresh trial.

The three-time Italian leader remains embroiled in several legal battles.Silvio Berlusconi acquitted in Rubygate affair

Silvio Berlusconi and the 17-year-old dancer involved, Karima El-Mahroug, known as “Ruby the Heartstealer”, denied having had s**.

The judges at the Court of Cassation took more than nine hours to reach their decision, and will issue a written ruling detailing their reasoning with the next 90 days.

The verdict leaves Silvio Berlusconi free to rally his Forza Italia party as it struggles to maintain a leading role in Italian politics, analysts say.

He remains under investigation for allegedly paying off witnesses in the “bunga bunga” case, and is on trial in Naples for alleged political corruption.

Last week Silvio Berlusconi completed a community service sentence for tax fraud, at a care home.

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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has said that pensioners will get free trips to the cinema if his party is returned to power.

Silvio Berlusconi, 78, who is in hospital for an eye operation, has written a letter in which he sets out a host of promises to the elderly, as long as they vote for his Forza Italia party at the next election, Il Messaggero newspaper reports.

As well as pledging to cut taxes and increase pensions, Silvio Berlusconi says pensioners would get free cataract operations and dental implants, as well as “free cinema in the afternoons and train journeys during the week”.

Silvio Berlusconi is currently banned from holding public office after being convicted of tax fraud, and has been doing community service at a care home as part of his sentence.

“We say to our friends in retirement: Do not make the mistake that you made at the last European elections,” he says in the letter.

“You must go and vote. It’s someone of your own age and who loves you who’s telling you himself: Silvio Berlusconi.”

Forza Italia took a drubbing in the European Parliament elections in May, coming third behind PM Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

Silvio Berlusconi, who famously owns two fluffy white poodles called Dudu and Dudina, has one final sweetener to persuade those older people who share his love of pets: “A free vet’s appointment once a month for your four-legged friends.”

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President Vladimir Putin has paid a late-night visit to former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi during ASEM summit in Milan.

Vladimir Putin left the home of Silvio Berlusconi after two hours, at 03:45, the Kremlin confirmed.

The two enjoyed good personal relations while Silvio Berlusconi was in power.

Vladimir Putin, 62, had already raised eyebrows by missing a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 16, the first day of the summit.

He was in the Serbian capital Belgrade as guest of honor at a military parade to mark the city’s liberation from Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

The talks with Angela Merkel, which focused on the peace process in Ukraine, eventually started four hours late, Russian media report.

President Vladimir Putin has paid a late-night visit to former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi during ASEM summit in Milan

President Vladimir Putin has paid a late-night visit to former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi during ASEM summit in Milan

Correspondents say Vladimir Putin has a reputation for arriving late. He kept Pope Francis waiting 50 minutes when he visited the Vatican last year.

Vladimir Putin met Silvio Berlusconi “by special permission” of the judicial authorities, Italian journalist Gerardo Pelosi said in a tweet.

“After the completion of official events… Putin came to see his old friend Berlusconi,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed.

Despite his late night out, Vladimir Putin was back early on Friday for more talks with Angela Merkel.

Silvio Berlusconi, 78, is serving a sentence of one year of community service at a care home near Milan since being convicted of tax fraud last year and ejected from the Italian Senate.

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Silvio Berlusconi has won an appeal against his conviction for paying an underage prostitute.

The seven-year prison sentence has now been thrown out by judges in Milan, in the so-called “Ruby” case.

Last year a court found that Italy’s former prime minister had paid for s** with 17-year-old nightclub dancer Karima El-Mahroug known as “Ruby the Heartstealer”.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, is doing community service after being sentenced for tax fraud.

That was a separate case involving his business empire Mediaset.

Silvio Berlusconi has won an appeal against his conviction in Ruby case

Silvio Berlusconi has won an appeal against his conviction in Ruby case (photo AFP/Getty Images)

Silvio Berlusconi helps out once a week at a home for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

He began doing that service in May – and so far it is the only final judgment against him, despite various other court cases.

In the Ruby case both Silvio Berlusconi and Karima El-Mahroug denied having had s**.

During the trial reports emerged of “bunga-bunga” parties at his private villa attended by showgirls. Some of the female guests however described them as “elegant dinner parties”.

Silvio Berlusconi was also acquitted of a charge that he abused his prime ministerial powers by pressuring the police to free Karima El-Mahroug when she was in custody.

In another separate case Silvio Berlusconi is accused of having bribed a senator.

Silvio Berlusconi was banned from holding political office for two years and expelled from the Senate.

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Italy’s PM Silvio Berlusconi has been filmed carrying out his community service at a nursing home near Milan.

The footage shows Silvio Berlusconi dressed in a white lab coat, joking with elderly residents at the hospice.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was ordered in May to help out at the Sacra Famiglia center as part of his one year sentence for tax fraud.

Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to help out at the Sacra Famiglia center as part of his one year sentence for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to help out at the Sacra Famiglia center as part of his one year sentence for tax fraud (photo AFP)

Until now, doctors had imposed a news blackout on how exactly Silvio Berlusconi was getting on after trading his customary late night carousing with young show girls for more sedentary mornings entertaining the elderly.

The video, filmed on a smart phone, shows Silvio Berlusconi sitting in the centre’s recreation room, smiling and joking with a group of elderly residents, some in wheelchairs, before he strolls over the vending machine to chat to two younger women.

As he cracks jokes, some of the patients clap along to an old fashioned Italian accordion record being played.

The video shows Silvio Berlusconi looking relaxed and cheerful.

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Silvio Berlusconi is due to start a year of community service at a care home near Milan.

The former Italian prime minister was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud last year, commuted to four hours work a week with elderly dementia patients.

The Catholic care home says Silvio Berlusconi, 77, will be treated like any other assistant.

The billionaire has been embroiled in a string of court cases.

His conviction last year was in connection with the purchase of TV rights by his firm, Mediaset, in the 1990s.

Silvio Berlusconi is due to start a year of community service at a care home near Milan

Silvio Berlusconi is due to start a year of community service at a care home near Milan

Silvio Berlusconi was spared prison because the Italian legal system is lenient to the over-70s.

He chose community service rather than house arrest to serve out his commuted sentence.

This will enable him to continue to lead his centre-right party, Forza Italia, in the European elections, although he has been forced to resign his seat in the upper house of parliament.

Silvio Berlusconi has also had to surrender his passport and his travel within Italy is severely restricted.

He also has to observe a nightly curfew at his palatial home near Milan.

Silvio Berlusconi is said to have been studying Alzheimer’s disease in preparation for his community service. He was due to arrive at the San Pietro care home in Cesano Boscone at 09:45 local time.

Massimo Restelli, head of care services there, told La Repubblica newspaper that Silvio Berlusconi’s introduction would be “gradual” so that he and the elderly patients could get used to each other.

“It will be small steps so as not to make any mistakes, and then he could do all sorts of things. He could help with meals, which are tricky because sometimes you have to ‘remind’ the patient that they are eating,” he said.

He said Silvio Berlusconi would be accompanied at all times by a medical worker specialized in Alzheimer’s.

“We’ll see if Berlusconi’s presence creates some kind of close bond, if he is a reference for anyone,” he added.

Silvio Berlusconi has always denied the charges against him, accusing left-wing judges of a witch-hunt.

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Silvio Berlusconi has sparked outrage in Germany by saying “for the Germans, concentration camps never existed”.

The former Italian prime minister was referring to a previous gaffe in which he told a German member of European Parliament that he could play a Nazi concentration camp guard in a film.

His latest comments were at a rally in Milan ahead of the European elections.

German Families Minister Manuela Schwesig said Silvio Berlusconi’s “attacks” against Germans were “unspeakable”.

Silvio Berlusconi has sparked outrage in Germany by saying that for the Germans, concentration camps never existed

Silvio Berlusconi has sparked outrage in Germany by saying that for the Germans, concentration camps never existed (photo Wikipedia)

Silvio Berlusconi was referring to a 2003 incident involving Martin Schulz, who is now president of the European parliament.

He had said to Martin Schulz: “I know that in Italy there is a man producing a film on Nazi concentration camps – I shall put you forward for the role of Kapo [guard] – you would be perfect.”

The president of Martin Schulz’s Socialists and Democrats (S&D) bloc, Hannes Swoboda, called Silvio Berlusconi’s latest comments “sickening”.

This is the latest in a long line of Silvio Berlusconi comments to have sparked criticism.

Silvio Berlusconi is one of Italy’s richest men and served as prime minister for nine months from May 1994 and then again for two terms from 2001 to 2006 and from 2008 to 2011.

He faced frequent allegations of conflicts of interest but it was Italy’s debt crisis that forced his resignation in 2011.

Silvio Berlusconi is embroiled in several legal cases and in 2012 was convicted of tax fraud, leading to his expulsion from the Italian Senate. His sentence for that conviction was to carry out community service in an old people’s home.

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Italy’s ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi should serve a one-year sentence for tax fraud doing community service, a Milan court has ruled.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was convicted of tax fraud in connection with TV rights purchased by his firm Mediaset.

Silvio Berlusconi should serve a one-year sentence for tax fraud doing community service

Silvio Berlusconi should serve a one-year sentence for tax fraud doing community service

The alternative to community service had been house arrest. It is not yet clear what form his community service will take.

Silvio Berlusconi has been embroiled in a string of court cases.

The Milan court is expected to make a statement detailing its ruling later on Tuesday.

Silvio Berlusconi’s close associate Marcello Dell’Utri has been arrested in Lebanon.

Marcello Dell’Utri is a life-long friend of Silvio Berlusconi and was once one of his closest advisors.

Declared a fugitive, Marcello Dell’Utri was arrested in Beirut just days before a definitive verdict in his long-running trial.

A lower court earlier decided he was guilty of having liaised between a Sicilian Mafia boss and Silvio Berlusconi.

Marcello Dell'Utri was found guilty of having liaised between a Sicilian Mafia boss and Silvio Berlusconi

Marcello Dell’Utri was found guilty of having liaised between a Sicilian Mafia boss and Silvio Berlusconi

If Italy’s highest court, hearing his final appeal, upholds that conviction, Marcello Dell’Utri could face seven years in jail.

The offence is alleged to have happened before Silvio Berlusconi entered politics.

Both men deny having had any dealings with the Mafia and Silvio Berlusconi has not been tried in connection with the affair.

Marcello Dell’Utri was declared a fugitive on Friday, after the authorities could find no trace of him. He later issued a statement saying he was abroad for medical treatment, but did not say where.

Senior Italian officials say Marcello Dell’Utri is in police custody and that Italy will seek his extradition.

Marcello Dell’Utri was an executive in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire and then a senator in his conservative movement.

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Italy’s Court of Cassation has confirmed a two-year ban from public office imposed on Silvio Berlusconi after he was found guilty of tax fraud.

The ban means former PM Berlusconi will be unable to stand in elections for the European Parliament in May.

After last year’s verdict, he was also stripped of his senate seat and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

The jail term is likely to be commuted to one year’s community service.

Italy's Court of Cassation has confirmed a two-year ban from public office imposed on Silvio Berlusconi after he was found guilty of tax fraud

Italy’s Court of Cassation has confirmed a two-year ban from public office imposed on Silvio Berlusconi after he was found guilty of tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyer, Niccolo Ghedini, said he was “extremely disappointed” by Tuesday’s ruling of Italy’s Court of Cassation.

Mariastella Gelmini, a senior member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, said the ruling was “abnormal and unjust”.

“There is an ideological prejudice against Berlusconi that annuls the rights of the defense,” said the former education minister.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, has faced a string of court cases but the sentence for tax fraud, upheld last August, was the first definitive conviction.

He was convicted over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films.

The subsequent two-year ban on holding public office was imposed by a Milan court in October.

Correspondents say that, despite his court convictions and continuing legal battles, Silvio Berlusconi still remains an influential force in Italian politics.

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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has decided to return to the centre of the political stage, striking a reform deal with a centre-left rival.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, was thrown out of parliament in 2013 after a tax fraud conviction.

The former prime minister still heads the opposition Forza Italia party and held lengthy talks with Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi late on Saturday.

Under their agreement, Silvio Berlusconi will back electoral and constitutional proposals aimed at making Italy more governable.

The current electoral system has left Italy with a series of shaky coalitions.

Last year’s general election left no party strong enough to govern alone, until a broad coalition emerged, headed by Enrico Letta of the PD.

Silvio Berlusconi has agreed with centre-left rival Matteo Renzi over a reform deal

Silvio Berlusconi has agreed with centre-left rival Matteo Renzi over a reform deal

Silvio Berlusconi was initially part of the government but later pulled out. Several key former allies abandoned him to form the New Centre Right party while he became a more marginalized figure.

But he remained head of Italy’s biggest opposition faction, Forza Italia.

Matteo Renzi’s talks with the former centre-right prime minister have divided the coalition, and the PD in particular.

His car was hit with an egg and he was booed as he arrived at PD headquarters.

After the talks Silvio Berlusconi said the deal would “consolidate the biggest parties and simplify the political system”.

Matteo Renzi said the two leaders had backed a law that “favors governability and a bi-polar system, and eliminates the blackmail power of the smallest parties”.

Silvio Berlusconi is keen to make a political comeback despite his fraud conviction and a separate conviction for paying an underage prostitute. He is appealing against a seven-year jail term.

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The Italian Senate has voted to expel former PM Silvio Berlusconi from parliament with immediate effect over his conviction for tax fraud.

Silvio Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for 20 years, could now face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution.

Silvio Berlusconi could face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution

Silvio Berlusconi could face arrest over other criminal cases as he has lost his immunity from prosecution

The 77-year-old told supporters in Rome it was a “day of mourning” for democracy.

Ahead of the vote, Silvio Berlusconi vowed to remain in politics to lead his Forza Italia in a “fight for the good of Italy”.

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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over his conviction for tax fraud.

The Senate will vote later on whether to expel the former prime minister.

Analysts say a large majority of senators is expected to back his expulsion.

The former PM has called for supporters to protest in Rome against what he says is a political vendetta.

The vote comes a day after Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his Forza Italia party from the coalition government.

Silvio Berlusconi, who has dominated politics for nearly two decades in Italy, had asked senators to delay the vote on his expulsion because he claims to have new evidence proving he did not commit tax fraud.

However, the vote is expected to go ahead on Wednesday evening.

Silvio Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over his conviction for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi faces expulsion from parliament over his conviction for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, threatened to topple the coalition government over the issue earlier this year but backed down during a confidence vote.

He old has dismissed the Senate, which is dominated by his political opponents, as biased against him.

Silvio Berlusconi was convicted of tax fraud in October 2012 over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films. The verdict was upheld in August.

Expulsion from parliament may lead to Silvio Berlusconi’s arrest over other criminal cases, as he would lose his immunity from prosecution.

He will have to serve a one-year sentence for his tax conviction, probably under house arrest or by doing community service because of his age.

Silvio Berlusconi has also been convicted of paying for s** with an underage prostitute and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap. He is appealing against both convictions.

Both PM Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and former comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement have said they will vote against Silvio Berlusconi.

Enrico Letta’s government survived a confidence vote on the 2014 budget on Tuesday with the help of a group of dissidents who broke away from Berlusconi’s party earlier this month.

Silvio Berlusconi had said earlier that his party would vote against the budget, and the Forza Italia leader in the lower house soon declared that the party was moving into opposition.

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Former PM Silvio Berlusconi has relaunched Forza Italia (Go Italy) party as his People of Freedom (PDL) party split between his supporters.

“I am happy that we have returned to this name, the one we all still have in our hearts: Forza Italia,” Silvio Berlusconi said at a party conference in Rome before hundreds of delegates, who voted unanimously to the name change of the party with the 77-year-old leader again at its helm.

Silvio Berlusconi supporter, Senator Vincenzo Gibiino, said: “Forza Italia is reborn thanks to Berlusconi who has decided to throw himself into the fray for all our sakes.”

At least 250 delegates, however, were not present. This faction, led by former PDL deputy leader Angelino Alfano, previously said they would not attend the PDL party conference, announcing the formation of breakaway party called Nuovo centrodestra (New Centre Right).

Silvio Berlusconi has relaunched Forza Italia party as his People of Freedom party split between his supporters

Silvio Berlusconi has relaunched Forza Italia party as his People of Freedom party split between his supporters

Composed of between 56 and 60 parliamentarians, the Alfano group would be large enough to ensure the survival of the prime minister‘s government should Berlusconi supporters drop out of the ruling coalition under the leadership of centre-left PM Enrico Letta.

At the centre of PDL split is how the party would react to the possible expulsion of Berlusconi from parliament over a tax fraud conviction.

The possibility of parliamentary expulsion, the decision for which is to take place on November 27, is seen as likely because the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the PDL‘s main coalition partner, is unwilling to let the scandal-prone politician keep his seat.

On Saturday, Silvio Berlusconi repeated his allegation that it was impossible for his party to remain in parliament with people who wanted the death of the one of the party‘s leaders.

The Alfano group, however, has argued the good of the country necessitated the continuance of the Letta government.

Negotiations within the PDL to prevent a party split continued until the last minute, with Alfano demanding in addition to remaining in the governing coalition an increase of democracy within the party and other issues.

In a 30-minute-long speech, Silvio Berlusconi appeared to signal his readiness to enter the opposition, criticizing the Letta government, accusing it of failed economic policies and lacking political will within Europe.

Silvio Berlusconi thundered against taxes and maintained that when he was head of government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French former president Nicolas Sarkozy never liked him because he had “the experience and the will to say no to many of their suggestions.”

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Italy’s former PM Silvio Berlusconi has married his fiancée Francesca Pascale last month in a secret wedding at his private chapel in Milan.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77, has always loved to be surrounded by women but since 2009 this tendency might have been increasing, according to his ex-wife Veronica Lario.

Francesca Pascale, born in Naples, district of Fuorigrotta, on July 15, 1985, the daughter of a wedding photographer, was raised up in Posillipo. She is the founder of the Club “Silvio ci manchi” (“Silvio we miss you”).

Francesca Pascale was one of the candidates to be the mysterious girl Silvio Berlusconi has been having a relationship with, since his separation from Veronica Lario in 2009.

Silvio Berlusconi has married his fiancée Francesca Pascale last month in a secret wedding at his private chapel in Milan

Silvio Berlusconi has married his fiancée Francesca Pascale last month in a secret wedding at his private chapel in Milan

Appeared in several videos singing or dancing with other girls along singer Oscar di Maio on local television Telecapri programme, where she started working when she was 14.

Then Francesca Pascale went into politics, becoming a councillor for the Municipality of Naples.

“I adore Berlusconi. Politics and show business? The same thing,” she said once.

At the end of 2012 Francesca Pascale was seen with Silvio Berlusconi more and more often, she was there also on November 25, at San Siro, when AC Milan beat Juventus 1-0.
On December 16, 2012, Silvio Berlusconi declared publicly that he was officially engaged to the Neapolitan girl.
Since her coming out as Silvio Berlusconi’s girlfriend, Francesca Pascale has been trained to become a presentable escort to a former prime minister and billionaire, her tutor being Mariarosaria Rossi. But Francesca Pascale needs more than this to earn a page on Wikipedia: so far (25 January 2013) she is just mentioned once in Silvio Berlusconi Italian wiki page and she is totally absent from the English Wikipedia or even the Neapolitan language pages.

In October 2013, Bulgarian actress (naturalized Italian citizen) Michelle Bonev revealed on her blog that Francesca Pascale is a lesbian, and that she knows it for sure because she had an affair with a young girlfriend of Silvio Berlusconi.

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Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi got married to Francesca Pascale in a “secret” ceremony “at his house,” according to a report.

According to Daily Mail,Silvio Berlusconi, 77, and Francesca Pascale, 28, got married at a church near his home near Milan three weeks ago.

Silvio Berlusconi’s friend, Marythell Polanco, said she was invited to a ceremony.

“It’s not a civil marriage, but Silvio has a chapel in his house. He was able to do it there and no one knows anything about it,” she said.

Silvio Berlusconi got married to Francesca Pascale in a secret ceremony at his house

Silvio Berlusconi got married to Francesca Pascale in a secret ceremony at his house

Marythell Polanco said that she could not attend “because I was in labor with my son. But anyway I sent my congratulations. They got married two or three weeks ago- on 8th or 9th October.”

Several weeks ago, Francesca Pascale said that people were taking advantage of Silvio Berlusconi.

“Many people were taking advantage of him,” Francesca Pascale said, according to Reuters.

“I had to intervene. They were paying 80 euros [$110] a kilo for string beans, can you believe it? Huge crates of fish were being delivered to the house when everyone knows the president doesn’t eat fish, he even hates the smell,” Francesca Pascale said.

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Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of Senator Sergio De Gregorio.

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is accused of paying left-wing Senator Sergio De Gregorio 3 million euros ($3.9 million) to defect to his right-wing People of Freedom party (PDL) in 2006 and help bring down the government.

Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of Senator Sergio De Gregorio

Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of Senator Sergio De Gregorio

Senator Sergio De Gregorio was sentenced in an earlier plea bargain.

Silvio Berlusconi has been embroiled in a number of trials and says he is the victim of a campaign by the judiciary.

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Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been banned by Milan court from holding public office for two years, following his conviction for tax fraud.

However, the ban must be approved by parliament before taking effect.

Earlier this month, a cross-party panel of the Italian Senate recommended Silvio Berlusconi’s expulsion from the chamber.

Silvio Berlusconi, 77,had threatened to topple the coalition government over the issue but backed down during a confidence vote.

 Silvio Berlusconi has been banned by Milan court from holding public office for two years, following his conviction for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi has been banned by Milan court from holding public office for two years, following his conviction for tax fraud

If he is expelled from the senate, Silvio Berlusconi will lose his parliamentary immunity from prosecution in a string of criminal cases.

The former prime minister will also spend a year under house arrest, or doing community service – his preferred option, according to a request he formally submitted last week.

The votes on Silvio Berlusconi’s expulsion and ban on holding office are expected to take place within the next few weeks.

Silvio Berlusconi was convicted over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, automatically reduced to one under a 2006 pardon act.

Silvio Berlusconi was also banned from holding public office for five years. The sentence was upheld in August.

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A cross-party panel of the Italian Senate has recommended former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s expulsion from the chamber over his conviction for tax fraud.

The call to expel Silvio Berlusconi who dominated politics for nearly two decades in Italy is expected to go before the Senate within three weeks.

Silvio Berlusconi threatened to topple the coalition government over the issue but backed down during a confidence vote.

He accused the Senate panel of bias and stayed away from its deliberations.

The media tycoon was convicted of tax fraud in October 2012 over deals his firm Mediaset made to purchase TV rights to US films. The sentence was upheld in August.

The threat to PM Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition alarmed political leaders and markets alike in the eurozone, where Italy has the third-biggest economy and is struggling to address a huge national debt.

A cross-party panel of the Italian Senate has recommended Silvio Berlusconi’s expulsion from the chamber over his conviction for tax fraud

A cross-party panel of the Italian Senate has recommended Silvio Berlusconi’s expulsion from the chamber over his conviction for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi dismissed the panel, which is dominated by his political opponents, as biased against him.

“There is no possibility of any defense and there is no reason to appear before a body which has already announced what decision it is going to take through the press,” he said in a statement issued through his lawyers.

Representatives of both PM Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party and Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party sit on the 23-strong Senate committee on elections and parliamentary immunity.

However, PdL members make up just over a quarter of the total.

Silvio Berlusconi emerged from Wednesday’s confidence vote a weakened figure with his capacity to influence Italian politics diminished.

Ousted from power in 2011, the 77-year-old billionaire nearly came back again earlier this year after an effective election campaign won him almost a third of the vote but legal troubles quickly beset him.

Silvio Berlusconi will have to serve a one-year sentence for his tax conviction, probably under house arrest or via community service because of his age.

In addition, Silvio Berlusconi has been convicted of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and of a breach of confidentiality over a police wiretap. He is appealing against both convictions.

Italy’s Prime Minister Enrico Letta has won a confidence vote after a last-minute U-turn by former PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Silvio Berlusconi had initially promised to topple the government by withdrawing his party’s support – a move which prompted the Senate vote.

But he backed down when it became clear that several of his senators would back the government.

Enrico Letta had earlier said that if he were defeated in the vote, it might prove a “fatal risk” for Italy.

In the event he won easily: the Senate voted 235 to 70 in favor of the government.

Some of Silvio Berlusconi’s most hardline followers left the chamber and did not vote at all.

The result of the vote increases the possibility of Silvio Berlusconi being thrown out of the Senate on the grounds he is a convicted criminal.

Enrico Letta has won a confidence vote after a last-minute U-turn by former PM Silvio Berlusconi

Enrico Letta has won a confidence vote after a last-minute U-turn by former PM Silvio Berlusconi

On Friday a Senate committee is due to vote on whether to strip him of his seat following his conviction for tax fraud.

As he left the Senate building on Wednesday, people outside greeted him with catcalls, whistles and cries of “go away”.

Last weekend, Silvio Berlusconi demanded that five ministers from his centre-right People of Freedom party (PDL) leave the government and bring it down.

But Silvio Berlusconi’s close ally Renato Schifani insisted he had not been weakened by the vote, telling Italian news agencies that his leadership “has been strengthened”.

When he rose to speak in the Senate to announce his turnaround, Silvio Berlusconi said: “Italy needs a government that can produce structural and institutional reforms. We have decided, not without internal travail, to back the confidence vote.”

The Milan stock exchange gained nearly 2% on the announcement.

In his address to the Senate, Enrico Letta defended his government’s performance and said Italy “runs a risk, a fatal risk” if it were to fall.

He said: “Give us your confidence to realize [our] objectives. Give us your confidence for all that has been accomplished… a confidence vote for Italy and Italians.”

Silvio Berlusconi had accused Enrico Letta of allowing his “political assassination through judicial means” – a reference to Berlusconi’s criminal conviction for tax fraud in August.

The former prime minister said he asked his ministers to defy the government to protest against an impending rise in VAT, not because of the attempts to throw him out of the Senate.

Enrico Letta accused Silvio Berlusconi of using the VAT issue as an “alibi” for his own personal concerns.

He refused to accept the resignation of the five PDL ministers and hence called the vote of confidence.

Silvio Berlusconi’s plan to bring the government down began to unravel when the ministers signaled their own unwillingness to leave the government, and even his deputy and party secretary, Angelino Alfano, said that PDL members should back Enrico Letta.

Analysts say the crisis threatened to hamper badly needed reforms to tackle Italy’s economic problems that include debt, recession and high youth unemployment.

Enrico Letta’s cross-party alliance was formed in April after two months of political deadlock following an inconclusive election.

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Italian PM Enrico Letta has been addressing parliament ahead of a crucial vote of confidence in his governing coalition.

Enrico Letta told the Senate the collapse of his government could be fatal for the country.

The vote was called after former PM Silvio Berlusconi ordered ministers in his centre-right People of Freedom party (PDL) to leave the government.

But some key PDL figures have defied him, saying they will back Enrico Letta.

Enrico Letta earlier rejected the resignations of the five PDL ministers.

Silvio Berlusconi has accused Enrico Letta of allowing his “political assassination through judicial means” – a reference to Berlusconi’s criminal conviction for tax fraud in August.

“Even though I understand the risks that I am taking on, I have decided to put an end to the Letta government,” Silvio Berlusconi said in a letter to the weekly magazine Tempi.

However, Silvio Berlusconi appeared more circumspect on arrival at the Senate on Wednesday, saying: “We’ll see what happens. We’ll listen to Letta’s speech and then we’ll decide.”

Addressing the Senate, Enrico Letta defended his government’s performance and said Italy “runs a risk, a fatal risk” if it were to fall.

Italian PM Enrico Letta has been addressing parliament ahead of a crucial vote of confidence in his governing coalition

Italian PM Enrico Letta has been addressing parliament ahead of a crucial vote of confidence in his governing coalition

He said: “Give us your confidence to realize [our] objectives. Give us your confidence for all that has been accomplished… a confidence vote for Italy and Italians.”

In an apparent break with Silvio Berlusconi, his deputy and party secretary Angelino Alfano said PDL MPs should back Enrico Letta in the confidence vote.

“I am firmly convinced that our party as a whole should vote confidence in Letta,” said Angelino Alfano, who is also Italy’s interior minister.

The first vote on Wednesday is in Senate and is expected around midday. This will be the crucial moment, as it is where Silvio Berlusconi’s allies have a narrow majority. The chamber of deputies will vote later.

Enrico Letta needs 161 votes in the Senate but can only count on the support of about 137 members, meaning he will need about 25 votes from others.

There are reports that between 30 and 40 PDL senators may vote for the government.

Angelino Alfano’s comments had caused the Italian stock market to jump on Tuesday as investors appeared increasingly confident that the government would not fall.

Carlo Giovanardi, a senator from Silvio Berlusconi’s party, indicated he would support the government, adding: “We want to remain a moderate force.”

Fabrizio Cicchitto, a PDL deputy, said: “Making the government fall would be a mistake.”

He said any new government would be “hostile to the PDL” and would be a boon for Enrico Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party.

On Tuesday, Enrico Letta refused to accept the resignations of five ministers from the PDL, Italy’s Ansa news agency reported, citing a government source.

Enrico Letta called the vote of confidence after Silvio Berlusconi ordered his ministers to leave the government in protest at a rise in VAT (sales tax).

The prime minister accused Silvio Berlusconi of using the issue as an “alibi” for his own personal concerns.

Analysts say the crisis threatens to hamper badly needed reforms to tackle Italy’s economic problems that include debt, recession and high youth unemployment.

The International Monetary Fund has warned that political tensions are a risk to the Italian economy.

Enrico Letta’s cross-party alliance was formed in April after two months of political deadlock following an inconclusive election.

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Members of Silvio Berlusconi’s party have defied him by calling on MPs to back the Italian coalition government in a confidence vote.

Angelino Alfano, Silvio Berlusconi’s deputy and secretary of People of Freedom, urged the party to unite behind PM Enrico Letta on Wednesday.

Earlier, Silvio Berlusconi had ordered his ministers to leave the government, provoking its probable collapse.

But amid signs it would survive, Italian markets jumped on Tuesday.

The blue-chip stock index rose 2.5%, Reuters reports.

Investors also showed greater confidence in Italian bonds, with the interest rate paid to hold 10-year government debt falling as a result.

Members of Silvio Berlusconi's party have defied him by calling on MPs to back the Italian coalition government in a confidence vote

Members of Silvio Berlusconi’s party have defied him by calling on MPs to back the Italian coalition government in a confidence vote

Silvio Berlusconi had threatened to topple the government, following moves to expel him from the Senate after his conviction for tax fraud.

However, Angelino Alfano, Silvio Berlusconi’s protégé, said on Tuesday: “I am firmly convinced that our party as a whole should vote confidence in Letta tomorrow.”

Angelino Alfano spoke after similar calls by other People of Freedom politicians such as Carlo Giovanardi, a senator and former minister, who said he could muster enough party support to ensure Enrico Letta wins the confidence vote.

Fabrizio Cicchitto, a senior People of Freedom MP, said: “Making the government fall would be a mistake.”

The crisis erupted when Silvio Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister and media tycoon who became engulfed in legal action, attacked the government over a rise in VAT (sales tax).

But Enrico Letta, from the centre-left Democratic Party, accused him of using the VAT issue as an “alibi” for his own personal concerns.

A committee of the Senate is due to decide on Berlusconi’s expulsion this week after the supreme court recently upheld his conviction for tax fraud.

Enrico Letta’s cross-party alliance was formed in April after two months of political deadlock following an inconclusive election. It was approved by 453 votes to 153.

Enrico Letta vowed to turn the recession-hit economy, the third-largest in the eurozone, around within 18 months or “face the consequences”.

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