In 1994, Sivlio Berlusconi (1936-) embarked on his political career, and within two months, he had created a new political party, Forza Italia (Forward Italy). In May 1994, Berlusconi took office as prime minister, but stepped down at the end of the year when some members of his center-right coalition left the government amid allegations that he had authorized the payment of bribes while still a private citizen in order to advance his business interests. He remained a major political figure and returned to the prime minister’s office in 2001; he assumed his third term in office on May 8th, 2008. In 2013 he was convicted of tax fraud, but exempted from serving direct prison time due to being over 70 years of age. Under recent anti-corruption laws in Italy, he was banned from serving in any legislative office for six years, but pledged to stay as leader of Forza Italia during the ban. (Adapted from: Neumann, Caryn E. “Berlusconi, Silvio.” The Incredibly Wealthy, edited by Howard Bromberg, vol. 1, Salem Press, 2011).
“So, Mr Berlusconi...” Economist, 19 May 2001
“A Leopard, spots unchanged.” Economist, 5 Apr. 2008
“Berlusconi fiddles, Italy burns.” Economist, 19 July 2008
“Bribesville II.” Economist, 3 Nov. 2012