14:24 GMT28 January 2021
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    Berlusconi, 84, served as Italy's prime minister several times, the most recently being from 2008 to 2011.

    Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former prime minister, has been admitted to hospital in Monaco because of problems with his heart, his personal doctor told the ANSA media service. 

    The doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, revealed on Monday that the politician and tycoon was urgently hospitalised in Monte Carlo's hospital. It is believed that the medical team did not want to endanger his health by sending him back to his home country Italy. 

    The news was also confirmed by Berlusconi's spokesperson, who told AFP that he was admitted "to the Cardiothoracic Hospital in Monaco for tests".

    "He will return home within a few days," the spokesman added. 

    Following news that Berlusconi had been hospitalised, PRT-shares in his business Mediaset have risen 1 percent in the past few hours. 

    The Forza Italia leader was admitted to hospital in September after testing positive for COVID-19. Berlusconi, who is believed to have caught the virus in Sardinia, called his 11-day hospitalisation back then "the most difficult ordeal" of his life.

    According to reports, Italy's former prime minister was diagnosed with double pneumonia during his time at the medical facility. And on being discharged, Berlusconi said: "Once again, I seem to have got away with it!"

    In 2016, the politician underwent a four-hour heart operation during which a defective aortic valve was replaced. Zangrillo said that time that Berlusconi was nearly killed by a stroke, after being admitted to San Raffaele Hospital in Milan following the campaigning event at the local elections. 

    Berlusconi has served as Italy's prime minister at three different times, from 1994 to 1995, from 2001 to 2006, and most recently from 2008 to 2011. After a conviction for tax fraud in 2013, for which his punishment was to do community service at a retirement home, Berlusconi was banned from holding any legislative office for six years. In 2018, the ban was lifted by the Italian court.

    The politician has stayed leader of his party, Forza Italia.

    coronavirus, COVID-19, heart, hospital, Monaco, Italy, Silvio Berlusconi
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