Bersani in intensive care after brain operation

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Former PD leader Pier Luigi Bersani is in intensive care after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
09:44 CET+01:00
Pier Luigi Bersani, former leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, is in intensive care but showing signs of recovery after suffering a brain haemorrhage at the weekend.

Bersani is in a stable condition following a three-hour operation at a hospital in Parma, Il Messaggero reported on Tuesday.

“[His] progress post-operation has been positive. All the vital signs are stable and normal. A CAT scan confirmed this positive development in his clinical condition and there are no neurological problems,” doctors were quoted in Il Messaggero as saying.

The former Democratic Party (PD) leader, who stood down in April following a poor performance in the national elections, was rushed to hospital on Sunday morning after falling ill at home.

Suffering from dizziness, a headache and vomiting, he was first taken to Piacenza hospital in the Emilia-Romagna region, before being transferred to the neurological ward of Maggiore di Parma hospital.

Bersani was put in intensive care following the operation on Sunday night and visits are restricted to family members. “He’s still him, he’s still the same, it’s the Pier Luigi that I know,” he wife told doctors, Il Messaggero reported.

Matteo Renzi, newly-elected PD leader, visited the hospital on Monday to meet Bersani’s family.

“We are happy that the situation is improving. It’s important that Pier Luigi, who is a tough guy, overcomes this difficult period,” Renzi was quoted as saying.

The current party leader narrowly lost out to Bersani, a widely-respected politician seen as a safe pair of hands, in a PD primary election in December 2012.

But Bersani, who served as both industry and transport minister in the 1990s, failed to win the outright victory predicted for the PD in last February's elections.

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After failing to form a coalition government, Bersani stepped down as party leader and President Giorgio Napolitano nominated Enrico Letta, then PD deputy secretary, as prime minister.

The PD held another round of primary elections in December 2013, in which Renzi was elected party leader.

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