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World leaders react to Silvio Berlusconi’s dying


Silvio Berlusconi has died on the age of 86. Italy’s flamboyant former prime minister had been a fixture of European politics, enterprise and sports activities for the reason that Nineties.

On Monday, after Italian media reported that Berlusconi died at San Raffaele hospital in Milan — the place he had beforehand been handled for a lung infection linked to his ongoing blood cancer — world leaders started to challenge statements about him and his lengthy and controversial political profession.

Listed below are a few of their reactions.

In a video shared on Twitter, Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, praised Berlusconi as a “fighter” who modified Italy.

“He was a person who had by no means been afraid to defend his convictions, and it was precisely that braveness and willpower that made him one of the influential males within the historical past of Italy, that allowed him to make actual breakthroughs on this planet of politics, communications, enterprise,” she mentioned. “With him, Italy discovered that it ought to by no means have limits imposed on it. It discovered that it ought to by no means surrender. With him, we have now fought, gained and misplaced many battles. And for him, too, we’ll convey dwelling the targets that we set ourselves collectively. Farewell, Silvio.”

When populist politician Matteo Salvini took over the far-right League get together in Italy, he was seen as a direct competitor to Berlusconi’s Forza Italia get together for the hearts and minds of conservative Italians skeptical of the European Union.

Following information of Berlusconi’s dying, Salvini, now Italy’s deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure and transport, was effusive in his reward of the person identified in Italy as Il Cavaliere, or the Knight.

Berlusconi was “a GREAT ITALIAN,” a “nice good friend” and “one of many best ever, in all fields, from all factors of view, the ultimate,” Salvini mentioned in an Instagram publish.

“You’ve got accomplished a lot for Italy and for the Italians. You permit a void that’s troublesome to fill. Beginning at this time we’ll dedicate all our efforts and all our engagement to proceed the thousand roads that you simply first noticed and traced,” Salvini continued.

“I’m damaged and I hardly ever cry. At the moment is a type of days,” he mentioned.

Hungary’s far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, referred to as Berlusconi a “nice fighter” and “my good friend” in a tweet shortly after the information of Berlusconi’s dying emerged.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola described Berlusconi in a tweet as a “fighter who led the center-right and has been a key participant in politics in Italy and Europe for generations.”

“Father, entrepreneur, [member of the European Parliament], prime minister, senator. He has left his mark and won’t be forgotten. Thanks, Silvio,” she added.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte described Berlusconi as “a powerful persona” in a tweet concerning the information.

Rutte was first elected prime minister within the Netherlands in 2010, throughout Berlusconi’s third stint as Italy’s prime minister, which lasted from 2008 to 2011. “He was the primary Italian prime minister I labored with, and I’ll keep in mind him as a putting and passionate politician,” Rutte mentioned.

Stefano Pitrelli contributed to this report.


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