Former Italian PM Berlusconi in hospital with heart problems, doctor says

MILAN – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been immediately hospitalized in Monaco due to heart problems, his personal physician told Reuters on Thursday.

Alberto Zangarillo said he saw Berlusconi on Monday and decided to transfer him to a nearby hospital because he did not think it prudent to bring him to Italy, which is some 10 miles from the small city-state.

Italy’s ANSA news agency first reported this news. It was not immediately clear if the health emergency was lifted.

The 84-year-old media tycoon underwent major heart surgery in 2016 and also survived prostate cancer.

Last September, he was hospitalized after contracting a coronovirus. He later told reporters that the virus presented the “most dangerous challenge” of his life.

Berlusconi has spent most of his time in the home of his daughter Marina in Provence, southeastern France.

Shares of the Berlusconi family-controlled broadcaster Mediaset jumped 2.9 percent on Thursday following initial reports of his latest health scare.

Traders cited speculation about a possible ownership change in the group if Berlusconi’s condition worsened.

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Mediaset has been at the center of a legal battle over the past five years between Berlusconi’s family, Finlinvest, and its second largest shareholder, French media giant Vivendi.

Berlusconi remains the head of the opposition Forza Italia party. His illness comes after Italy was struck by political chaos after a junior coalition party denied the government a majority in Parliament.

Newspapers have speculated that some Forza Italia lawmakers may have agreed to the ranks of the desert party and could help propose to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to block early elections.

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