Berlusconi’s health had been in decline, with his doctor reporting in April that he had had leukaemia “for some time” after he was placed into intensive care with a lung infection.
Berlusconi was the longest-serving post-World War II prime minister of Italy across three non-consecutive ministries between 1994 and 2011. Forza Italia, the party he founded, have formed part of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni‘s Brothers of Italy-led government since October.
Berlusconi’s career included several scandals, such as when authorities charged him over allegedly organizing “bunga bunga” sex parties, female minors in attendance, at his villas; he was acquitted on those charges and for charges of bribing a witness in that trial, but convicted of tax fraud, having sex with a minor prostitute and abuse of power in attempting to have police release that prostitute after they detained her for alleged theft.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared: “Silvio Berlusconi made a huge impact on Italian politics over several decades and our thoughts are with the Italian people and his family”.
A national day of mourning was scheduled for Wednesday.