Berlusconi offers own homes to quake survivors

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The Independent Online

Italy's billionaire prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has offered to put up in his own homes to some of the thousands of people made homeless by this week's earthquake.

"I will do what I can too, by offering some of my houses," the 72-year-old media mogul told reporters after a state funeral for the victims in the mountain city of L'Aquila.

About 17,000 survivors are living in tents in L'Aquila and other towns in the central Abruzzo region, which was hit by the 6.3 magnitude quake on Monday. Thousands more are being put up in hotels or have found refuge with family.

Berlusconi's private homes include a mansion in Arcore near Milan, beach villas in Sardinia and Portofino on the Riviera, another on Lake Maggiore, an apartment in central Rome and many more. Forbes magazine rates him as Italy's second richest man.