Italy bid farewell to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a state funeral in Milan on Wednesday, with thousands and the country’s top political leaders expected to attend but few foreign dignitaries.
“A state funeral is planned, which is fair, but holding national mourning for a divisive figure like Silvio Berlusconi seems to me an anachronistic decision,” said Romano Prodi of the second government. (2006-2008) former leftist minister Rosi Bindi said. ), to public radio stations.
The official funeral for the tycoon and politician, who died of leukemia on Monday at the age of 86, will be at Milan Cathedral at 3:00 pm.
The ceremony will be broadcast on giant screens installed in the famous squares of the Lombard capital and at the gates of the temples so that those who cannot enter can watch.
“He has no respect for the state when he defrauds the state treasury,” he said, recalling Cavaliere’s four-year prison sentence in 2013 in a scandal related to his Mediaset empire, which was later reduced to one year through an amnesty.
Those in attendance included the president of the republic, Sergio Mattarella; the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and her two deputy prime ministers, Matteo Salvini and Antonio Tajani, the number two in Berlusconi’s party, Forza Italia .
The European Commission will be represented by its economic commissioner, Italian Paolo Gentiloni, who is also the head of the Italian government.
The ceremonial state funeral will be accompanied by a day of national mourning, unprecedented for the former prime minister, but not all Italians like him.
Senator Andrea Crisanti, from the center-left Democratic Party, also voiced her dissent.
The journey of the tycoon, who has been prematurely declared politically dead many times, is intertwined with the history of Italy over the past three decades.
He is also one of the richest men on the peninsula, with Forbes estimating his fortune at 6.4 billion euros ($6.9 billion) in early April.
Adored or loathed, the lovers of much younger women, including prostitutes, were embroiled in endless lawsuits against the controversial party.
Abroad, he is known for a string of scandals, legendary blunders, legal battles and diplomatic coups.
His death has reverberated around the world, from the White House to the Kremlin, with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling him a “true friend”.
In the sports world also left a mark for AC Milan football club.
A father of five children from two different wives, Berlusconi has several grandchildren.