Silvio Berlusconi Admitted to Hospital, Drops Out of Italian Presidential Race

Former Italian prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi smiles and waves to the m
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

MILAN (AP) – Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has been undergoing a series of medical examinations in a Milan hospital, a spokesman confirmed Sunday, the day after the center-right political leader and media tycoon took his name out of contention to be Italy’s next president.

Italian media reported that Berlusconi had been hospitalized at San Raffaele hospital, where his physician works, but the spokesman said he has been in and out of the hospital over recent days for a series of exams and a checkup.

Berlusconi, 85, recovered from COVID-19 in 2020 and was in and out of the hospital last spring for treatment of complications related to the virus.

Berlusconi spent 10 days being treated at San Raffaele Hospital for COVID-19 in September of 2020. He told reporters after being discharged that disease had been “insidious” and was the most dangerous challenge he had ever faced.

Besides being in a vulnerable age group, Berlusconi has a heart condition that prompted him to get a pacemaker several years ago.

Berlusconi on Saturday reluctantly withdrew his candidacy to succeed Sergio Mattarella as Italy’s head of state, a largely ceremonial post that also requires political acumen and constitutional knowledge to steer Italy through its not infrequent political crises.

Lawmakers and regional representatives begin voting on Monday, with political maneuvering over candidates still in full-swing.

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