Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is planning to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia, when he comes out of hospital on July 5th, according to reports in the Italian media.

Berlusconi plots Forza Italia relaunch from hospital bed
Silvio Berlusconi is reportedly hoping to relaunch his political party, Forza Italia. Photo: Alberto Solaro/AFP

The 80-year-old billionaire underwent open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve after sustaining a heart attack earlier this month, but is showing no signs of slowing down.

Indeed, during his time in hospital he has been visited by a never-ending trail of political allies with whom he has discussed his idea to relaunch Forza Italia, Corriere della Sera reported.

“I've just spent a few hours with him and I'm amazed he has so much strength and energy, just one week after the operation,” Adriano Galliani, the CEO of Berlusconi's A.C Milan football club told the paper.

The ex-prime minister is believed to be working on a 15-point programme to relaunch Forza Italia and wants to hold a party conference as early as this autumn. The party has performed disastrously at local, regional and European elections since 2013, when it became a branch of the People of Freedom party (Pdl).

It is suggested that the 47-year-old president of Liguria, Giovanni Toti, could be given a leading role in the new-look Forza Italia.

But in spite of the media mogul's energy and enthusiasm, his children are reportedly eager to see him retire from political life and Berlusconi's medics at Milan's San Raffaele hospital have also warned against him doing too much too soon.

“He needs to rest,” said Berlusconi's personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo. “The operation really took it out of him and he is in a lot of pain.”

Berlusconi is not expected to leave hospital before July 5th, during which time he may even be visited by his long-term friend and political ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.