Silvio Berlusconi


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Berlusconi, Silvio

(bĕr'ləskō`nē), 1936–, Italian business executive and politician, premier (1994; 2001–6, 2008–11) of Italy, b. Milan. His first fortune was made in real estate during the 1960s. In the early 1980s Berlusconi founded commercial television networks that wooed the public away from the more stolid fare offered on government-run channels, and he became a billionaire as head of a media empire embracing television, advertising, film, and publishing as well as an investor in banking and medical biotechnology and owner (1986–2017) of the AC Milan soccer team.

Entering politics as a strong advocate of a market-driven economy, he established the conservative Forza Italia party in 1994 and vaulted to prominence, largely through his excoriation of the corruption-tainted established parties and his ready access to publicity. In 1994 parliamentary elections, he was elected as a deputy and his right-wing coalition captured a majority; Berlusconi became premier. By the end of the year, however, his coalition collapsed and he resigned.

Subsequently accused of the very corruption he had vowed to expunge, Berlusconi, who alleged a left-wing plot against him, was convicted in 1997 and 1998 of financial crimes. The convictions were later overturned on appeal, but he also faced other bribery and other charges beginning in 1999. In 2001 he was again led a right-wing coalition to an electoral and became premier. In 2003, in an attempt to end his bribery trial, parliament passed a law making the premier (and other top Italian officials) immune from prosecution, but the constitutional court subsequently overturned the law. The following year he was acquitted of the bribery charges; the other charges were dismissed

After losses in local elections in 2005, he resigned and formed a new coalition government. His coalition narrowly lost in the 2006 parliamentary elections. Later in the year Berlusconi was tried on tax and accounting charges relating to his media companies; some of charges were later dropped, but in 2012 he was convicted on tax evasion charges, and the verdict was upheld in 2013. He returned to power in Apr., 2008, when his renamed People of Freedom party, and its coalition partners won control of the parliament.

His coalition subsequently passed legislation granting Italy's senior officeholders immunity from prosecution, but Italy's constitutional court overturned the law in 2009. In 2010 parliament passed a law allowing senior government figures to postpone trials against them for 18 months, but in 2011 the constitutional court ruled that a judge should decide whether a trial should be postponed. Subsequently, he faced prosecution or investigation in a number of cases, including one involving alleged underage prostitution (of which he was convicted in 2013; overturned 2014). Also in 2010, scandals and political divisions threatened to bring down his government.

He narrowly survived no-confidence votes in Dec., 2010, and, after being forced to adopt austerities in the face of a financial crisis, in Oct., 2011. A general loss of confidence in his government forced his resignation after an economic reform package was passed in Nov., 2011. He then supported Mario MontiMonti, Mario,
1943–, Italian economist and political leader. After studying at Bocconi Univ., Milan, and at Yale, he taught economics at the Univ. of Turin (1970–85) and then at Bocconi Univ., where he later was rector (1989–94) and president (1994–).
..... Click the link for more information.
's techocratic government until Dec., 2012; in the subsequent 2013 elections his coalition placed second and he was elected to the senate. In Mar., 2013, he was convicted of abuse of office in relation to the publication of wiretaps in 2005, but that was overturned a year later because of the statute of limitations. In Apr., 2013, his party became part of the new coalition government. Berlusconi withdrew his party from the coalition in September over his impending ouster (November) from the senate (because of his criminal convictions), but a party revolt forced him to support the government in a confidence vote. He subsequently withdrew his party from the government, which led to a split in his party, now again named Forza Italia.

Bibliography

See studies by P. Ginsburg (2004) and A Stille (2006).

Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Arrival of Silvio Berlusconi at a hospice for Alzheimer's patients near Milan.
We have never talked about a Silvio Berlusconi MEP candidacy from Bulgaria," said the former Bulgarian PM, using his Facebook account.
Silvio Berlusconi listens to the anthem of his party Forza Italia (Let's Go Italy) at the end of a rally in Rome, > yesterday, as the Italian senate debated and then voted to expel him Alessandra
Cette fois-ci et les commentateurs l'ont releve comme un "signal negatif", Silvio Berlusconi n'a pas reitere son appui a l'executif apres sa condamnation lundi a sept ans de prison et une interdiction a vie d'exercer un mandat public pour avoir remunere les prestations sexuelles de la mineure Ruby et fait pression sur la prefecture de Milan pour la faire relacher apres une interpellation.
GREAT SURVIVOR But the court verdicts are starting to go against Silvio Berlusconi
Former Brookside actor Paul Duckworth takes on Silvio Berlusconi at The Epstein
Rome: An Italian court on Thursday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to a year in prison over the publication of leaked transcripts from a police wiretap in a newspaper that he owns.
A small group of women's rights demonstrators greeted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi when he voted in Milan on Sunday.
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, right, and his wife Veronica Lario
Summary: Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday his People of Freedom (PDL) party firmly opposed Italy leaving the euro and believed such a policy would be disastrous.
A MILAN court ended a corruption trial against Silvio Berlusconi yesterday, ruling that the statute of limitations had run out on the case and essentially handing Italy's former prime minister another victory in a long string of judicial woes.
FORMER Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is reviving his musical career, just a week out of office.