Despite sex scandals, sequential gaffes and legal battles, the flamboyant tycoon has made an astonishing return from political oblivion to head his centre-right Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, which included in a right-wing coalition is leading the race for Sunday’s vote, according to opinion polls.
‘Berlusconi has 12 or 13 lives, he is just like a cat squared,’ said former best Matteo Renzi, who’s himself trying to win the top spot on Sunday.
While Berlusconi has largely avoided the significant campaign rallies and only appeared alongside his coalition allies at the run-up to the vote, he is a continuous figure on tv, radio and in newspapers, a variety of which he owns through his Fininvest empire.
While Berlusconi has largely prevented the Major campaign rallies and only looked alongside his coalition allies in the run-up to the vote, He’s a continuous figure on tv, radio and in newspapers
The one time cruise ship crooner, who has served as prime minister three days and once possessed AC Milan football club, has had a very tumultuous love affair with Italian politics, clinching his first election victory in 1994.
Together with his oiled-back own hair and winning grin, he has ruled Italy for over nine years in total.
He became renowned across the world because of his buffoonish gaffes along with a colourful private life epitomised with his notorious ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties.
I’m like a good wine, with age, I only enhance, now I’m perfect,’ he tweeted lately.
Berlusconi was born in 1936 in Milan to a bank worker father and a housewife mom who always staunchly defended her son’s virtues.
The young Berlusconi was a born entertainer.
Berlusconi was born in 1936 in Milan to a bank worker father and a housewife mom who always staunchly defended her son’s virtues. Pictured: Berlusconi at 2013
A massive fan of Nat King Cole, he played double bass and amused club audiences with jokes during breaks from reading law.
He worked briefly for a cruise-ship singer prior to launching a profitable career in the booming construction industry then expanding to put up three national television stations and buy Italian football club AC Milan, he moved on to sell in 2017.
Berlusconi’s political success has been associated with his football glory. Nonetheless, it is also closely entwined with the ability of the broadcasting and publishing empire.
His first stint as prime minister lasted from 1994-1996. In 2001 he was elected again following a campaign which included sending a publication boasting of his own accomplishments to 15 million Italian houses.
He remained in power until 2006 – the greatest premiership at the background of post-war Italy – and as a divided left floundered, he had been voted back for a third period in 2008.
But his premiership finished in 2011 at a blaze of sex scandals and fears Italy was on the verge of a Greek-style fiscal implosion.
The twice-divorced Berlusconi was made out of parliament in 2013 following his conviction to corporate taxation fraud was upheld by Italy’s highest court.
His influence waned quickly after that.
In 2013 he was sentenced to seven years of paying for sex with an underage 17-year-old prostitute Karima El-Mahroug, called ‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’ (pictured)
In 2013 he was sentenced to seven years of paying for sex with an underage 17-year-old prostitute Karima El-Mahroug, called ‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’, also for abusing his powers to get her off theft fees, pretending she was the niece of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
The Ruby conviction was finally overturned by an appeal court. Not entirely off the hook however, Berlusconi currently faces trial over allegations he bought Ruby along with other women’s jumps with more than 10 million euros worth of presents including homes and vacations.
The former leader gained notoriety because of his off-colour jokes along with diplomatic gaffes, in 2013 likening German politician Martin Schulz to a Nazi, as well as describing US President Barack Obama as ‘suntanned’.
In a wiretap dialog leaked to the press, he also known as German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘an un****capable lard-arse’.
The currently aging politician has also grappled with health issues in the past few years, undergoing open heart operation in 2016.
When asked about his ultimate successor however he responded: ‘It is not easy to find a genius, however, as I will live to be 120, I’ll find one’