Italy has declared that Wednesday, the day of Berlusconi’s funeral at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, will be an official “national day of mourning.”
News Agency of Nigeria
Leading figures across Italy and worldwide have paid tribute to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi after he died at 86.
Berlusconi died of complications from chronic leukemia at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan on Monday.
Reactions from national and international leaders underlined Berlusconi’s huge influence on his country during his three-decades-long political career and half a century as a major player in the Italian media.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella said that Berlusconi had “made a mark on the history of our Republic” and was a “protagonist for long periods of Italian politics and the institutions of the Republic.”
Berlusconi’s leadership “contributed to shaping a new political geography in Italy, enabling him to serve as prime minister four times,” Mattarella said.
Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Berlusconi was “a man who was never frightened of defending his convictions.
“It was that bravery that made Berlusconi one of the most important figures in Italian history.”
Forza Italia, the political party Berlusconi founded, is a junior partner in the coalition supporting the Meloni government.
Mario Draghi, former governor of the European Central Bank and the previous prime minister of Italy before Meloni, praised Berlusconi’s “extraordinary spirit of initiative and innovation.”
In the Vatican City, officials said Pope Francis had sent a telegram to Berlusconi’s family expressing their “heartfelt participation in mourning the loss of a key figure in Italian political life, who held public responsibilities with energetic temperament.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that Berlusconi “led Italy in a political transition and since then continued to shape his beloved country.”
Expressing his condolences, French President Emmanuel Macron said Berlusconi was a “major figure in contemporary Italy.”
According to media reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the Italian leader “a dear person and a true friend.”
Italy has declared that Wednesday, the day of Berlusconi’s funeral at the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, will be an official “national day of mourning”.
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