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Silvio Berlusconii

Silvio Berlusconi has been Italy’s prime minister three times, making him the country’s longest-serving post-war premier. His leadership was undermined by sex scandals, and by the growing Euro zone sovereign debt crisis, and Berlusconi resigned as prime minister in November 2011, but mounted a comeback in late 2012.

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  • Berlusconi was charged with paying an Italian singer US$162,000 to lie in a previous trial where he was accused of paying to have sex with a 17-year-old dancer
  • Berlusconi pleaded not guilty in the bribery trial and Rome prosecutor Roberto Felici told the court on Thursday that charges should be dropped

The country’s first female prime minister recited the ritual oath of office, pledging to be faithful to Italy’s post-war republic and to act ‘in the exclusive interests of the nation’.

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Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is making his return to Italy’s parliament, winning a seat in the Senate nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction.

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni said she was ready to govern for ‘all Italians’ after her Eurosceptic populists swept to victory in general elections.

Vote comes as Italy battles series of crises, from rampant inflation and extreme weather events to energy crisis aggravated by war in Ukraine.

Giorgia Meloni has been called a fascist, an extremist and – to an extent – a de facto heir to 20th century dictator Benito Mussolini. She also seems well on her way to becoming Italy’s next prime minister.

He wanted to resign because he didn’t have the backing of parties in his coalition, which are unhappy about his reference to fiscal reform, freeing up beach concessions and his pledge of military aid to Ukraine.

Mattarella, 80, had ruled out remaining in office, but agreed after parties failed to find a mutually acceptable alternative candidate in a week of fraught voting in parliament.

The 85-year-old billionaire and former premier had been campaigning behind the scenes for weeks to replace outgoing President Sergio Mattarella.

The 83-year-old flamboyant former prime minister was taken to hospital ‘as a precaution’ according to his aides. More than 35,500 people have died from Covid-19 in Italy.