Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Clashes at anti-government rally in Nairobi

Read more

WEB NEWS

ISIS leader challenged over expensive-looking wristwatch

Read more

  • Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Israel pummels Gaza in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • China’s first Tour de France cyclist chases his dream

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

  • Typhoon Neoguri turns deadly as it batters Japanese islands

    Read more

Europe

Berlusconi set to be released after three nights in hospital

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-16

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to be released Wednesday after spending three nights in the hospital but has been ordered to forgo public duties for two weeks. A weekend attack left the premier with a broken nose and facial contusions.

AFP - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was set to be released Wednesday after spending a third night in hospital following a bloody weekend attack, but will be under doctors' orders to forgo public duties for two weeks.
   
The 73-year-old leader will be discharged in the early afternoon while still recovering from the attack that left him with a broken nose and other facial injuries by a man with a reported history of mental illness.
   
He thanked well-wishers from his hospital bed Tuesday, in his first public statement since the assailant struck him in the face with a souvenir replica of Milan's cathedral after a political rally in the northern city.
   
"Thanks to all of the many who sent me messages of support and affection. I say to all of you, stay calm and happy. Love always triumphs over hate and envy," Berlusconi said.
   
The billionaire leader, who has already cancelled plans to attend the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, must "abstain from all activities that would expose him to public situations, to stress," said his doctor, Alberto Zangrillo.
   
The ANSA news agency said the prime minister had cancelled all official commitments for December including cabinet meetings.
   
These include his traditional end-of-year news conference and Christmas Eve visit to L'Aquila, the central Italian city where nearly 300 people died in an earthquake in April.
   
Berlusconi's assailant faces charges of aggravated assault and up to five years in prison if convicted.
   
The man, 42-year-old Massimo Tartiglia, sent a letter to Berlusconi apologising for what he called a "superficial, cowardly and inconsiderate act".
   
New messages of sympathy poured in on Tuesday including from Berlusconi's Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin who praised him in a telephone conversation for his "manly behaviour" following the attack, a spokesman said.
   
Berlusconi later received a call from US President Barack Obama, who "wished him a quick recovery," according to a statement from the prime minister's office.
   
Italy's political left and right traded barbs over tensions seen as contributing to the attack.
   
"The hand of the person who assaulted Berlusconi was armed by a merciless hate campaign," said Fabrizio Cicchitto, a member of Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom party.
   
Cicchitto accused the left-leaning Espresso weekly and daily La Repubblica, anti-corruption politician Antonio Di Pietro and some television programmes of "almost wanting to transform (political) confrontation into a civil war."
   
Di Pietro, who heads the small Italy of Values party, shot back: "We are not an opposition out of hatred towards Berlusconi but out of love for our country."
   
In La Repubblica Di Pietro accused Berlusconi of encouraging a climate of "violence" through verbal attacks on a variety of perceived enemies.
   
The media tycoon has recently targeted prosecutors seeking his conviction on corruption charges, as well the Constitutional Court, which threw out an immunity law that protected him from prosecution while in office.
   
Last month after a Mafia turncoat alleged he had links with organised crime in the early 1990s, Berlusconi threatened to "strangle the authors of fiction about the Mafia."
   
The government moved to close down Internet sites encouraging further violence against Berlusconi, prompting centrist politician Pierferdinando Casini to raise freedom-of-speech concerns.
   
Pages on the social networking site Facebook both for and against Berlusconi's attacker were removed Tuesday.
   
The head of a parliamentary security watchdog sought to allay concerns over Berlusconi's security detail, describing the attack as an "isolated event that is not linked to any political wish or figure."
   
Francesco Rutelli, whose panel oversees Italy's secret services, added: "There were so many bodyguards around Silvio Berlusconi that you could look at it as a fluke that he was hit full in the face by the object that was thrown."
   
The attack came as Berlusconi, now in his third term as prime minister, fights mounting domestic troubles.
   
Allegations about dalliances with a young woman led his wife Veronica Lario to file for divorce. She is reportedly seeking a settlement of 43 million euros (65 million dollars) a year.
   
Last Friday a Milan court adjourned one of the corruption trials against Berlusconi until January 15.

 

Date created : 2009-12-16

  • ITALY

    Doctors concerned about Berlusconi’s morale after attack

    Read more

  • ITALY

    Man with history of mental health problems arrested over Berlusconi attack

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)