Why many Italians fear the prospect of Silvio Berlusconi as president

Italy’s former prime minister has ramped up his media campaign ahead of next week’s presidential election but his criminal and often sordid past has alienated much of the public, writes Sofia Barbarani in Rome

Tuesday 18 January 2022 18:59
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<p>Silvio Berlusconi speaks to media following a meeting with center-right leaders in Rome, in December</p>

Silvio Berlusconi speaks to media following a meeting with center-right leaders in Rome, in December

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From loved-up social media posts with his partner to a full-page newspaper advertisement extolling his achievements, Italy’s billionaire media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi has been enjoying the limelight once again ahead of next week’s presidential elections.

It is no secret that Mr Berlusconi has been eyeing the country’s top job for some time, and the 85-year-old former prime minister knows how to market himself to the public.

He has been making a concerted effort to boost his own image in the lead-up to 24 January, when just over 1,000 lawmakers and regional delegates will vote for president Sergio Mattarella’s replacement.

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