Former Italian Premier Berlusconi Has Covid-19, Is Being Isolated at Home

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has tested positive for the coronavirus and is continuing to work in isolation at his home near Milan, his spokeswoman said.

The 83-year-old leader of the Forza Italia party will continue to support candidates of his group and of the center-right bloc with daily media interviews, the spokeswoman said.

Berlusconi, who recently returned from a vacation in Sardinia, is campaigning ahead of Sept. 20-21 regional and local elections which will test the stability of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government. Italians will also vote in a referendum on shrinking the number of lawmakers in the Rome parliament.

Berlusconi’s party, a moderate and pro-European force, has slid in opinion polls in recent months, contrasting with the rise of the populist,

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euroskeptic Brothers of Italy party of Giorgia Meloni. Surveys show the center-right, led by Matteo Salvini of the anti-migrant League, would win a general election if it were held now.

Media mogul Berlusconi controls Mediaset SpA, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster. His family holding company Finivest SpA also controls publisher Mondadori SpA, owns 30% of Banca Mediolanum and has a 2% stake in investment bank Mediobanca SpA, according to its website.

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