Italy’s former leader Silvio Berlusconi back in hospital

Berlusconi’s latest stay at the San Raffaele hospital comes ahead of a big meeting of his party planned for Saturday.

The 86-year-old leader of the Forza Italia party was released from his last stint in hospital on May 19 after a 45 day stay for a lung infection.

In a statement on Friday, the hospital said Berlusconi was there for “scheduled examinations related to his known hematological pathology.”

Berlusconi has previously been diagnosed with leukemia and was hospitalized in April with breathing problems.

The hospital has previously said the politician’s cancer is not acute and that he has carried the disease “for some time.”

The hospital said Friday the present checkup “meets clinical criteria of normal practice in medicine and is not related to any criticality or alarm.”

A controversial media tycoon, Berlusconi has served three stints as Italy’s prime minister, most recently between 2008 and 2011, before being banned from politics for six years following a conviction for tax fraud.

He made a return to frontline politics in 2022 when he won a seat in Italy’s Senate, representing the northern municipality of Monza.

In 2021 he was hospitalized for treatment for the symptoms of long Covid-19, according to the press office of his Forza Italia party.

He also spent time in the hospital the previous year after contracting the coronavirus, and has had a number of other health concerns, including a 2016 heart surgery to replace an aortic valve.

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