After diagnosis and readmittance into the hospital, Berlusconi remains in intensive care.
After being hospitalized in Milan this week, ex-Italian PM and leader of the Forza Italia party, Silvio Berlusconi has been diagnosed with a severe blood disorder and remains in intensive care, according to local media reports.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the recent complications he has been suffering in the past month, including his episode of pneumonia, were found to have been caused by the disease – leukemia, according to CNN.
The 86-year-old former prime minister was readmitted to Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital after complaining of cardiovascular problems and suffering from breathing difficulties.
In response, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani – a Forza Italia member and close Berlusconi ally – confirmed the diagnosis and the presence of the disease.
Berlusconi, who served as prime minister for nearly a decade, is now a senator and the leader of the conservative Forza Italia party, which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition.
He was temporarily barred from public office following a tax fraud conviction in 2013 and is still on trial for allegedly bribing witnesses in an underage prostitution case, and is said to have been bombarding parliamentarians in the run-up to the election with his “Operation Squirrel campaign,” according to the Italian press.
Forza Italia has struggled with a wave of defections in July since it pulled out of Draghi’s government, with nine lawmakers, including three ministers, quitting.