Leaders around the world, both his Italian political allies and adversaries, have pointed to the Cavaliere’s immense impact on Italian politics.
The French president, like leaders around the world, hailed the memory of one of the most turbulent personalities in Italian history, the former head of government Silvio Berlusconi, who died Monday at 86 years old.
“With the Cavaliere disappears a major figure of contemporary Italy who had occupied the front of the political scene for many years,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a press release.
“For me, Silvio was a dear person, a true friend”, moved the Russian president in a telegram of condolences addressed to the Italian president Sergio Mattarella. The head of the Kremlin spoke of the “”wisdom”, “incredible vital energy”, “optimism” and “sense of humor” of this “true patriot” who “made an invaluable personal contribution” to the Russian-Italian relations.
Pope Francis, himself hospitalized, on Monday hailed a “protagonist of Italian political life who has assumed public responsibilities with an energetic temperament”, in a telegram signed on his behalf by the Secretary of State and N.2 of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
“Rest in peace my friend,” said Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, captioning a photo he posted on Twitter showing him with Berlusconi, hailing a “great fighter”.
“A considerable footprint”
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said she was “saddened”. “He led Italy through a period of political transition and since then has continued to work for his beloved country.”
For British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking through his official spokesperson, “Silvio Berlusconi left a considerable imprint on Italian politics for several decades”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed “a great friend of Israel”.
In the United States, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has agreed to bring forward a meeting with the head of Italian diplomacy Antonio Tajani, so that he can return. “We are thinking of the Italian people right now,” said Antony Blinken at the start of the press conference.
In Italy, the death of Silvio Berlusconi aroused many reactions, starting with those of his political allies.
In a video sent by her cabinet, Giorgia Meloni, the head of the Italian government, saluted the memory of her ally, a “fighter” whom she saw as “one of the most influential men in the history of the Italy” who “was not afraid to defend his convictions” thanks to his “courage” and his “determination”.
“Many loved it, many hated it”
Former Prime Minister and Senator Matteo Renzi (center), observed on Facebook, that “many loved him, many hated him: everyone today must recognize that his impact on political life but also economic, sporting and television has been unprecedented”. His ally Matteo Salvini, leader of the Anti-Migrant League, regrets that “a great Italian is leaving us. One of the greatest ever, in all areas”.
Even his political opponents paid tribute.
“He inflamed and polarized public debate perhaps like no other, and even those who faced him as a political opponent must recognize that he never lacked courage, passion, tenacity”. greeted Giuseppe Conte, former Prime Minister and leader of the 5 Star Movement (M5S).
“The greatness must be recognized even to the adversaries”, reacted the former Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini (left).
“Everything has divided us and everything divides us but what remains is the human respect due to the one who has been a protagonist in the history of our country”, noted Elly Schlein, leader of the Democratic Party. (PD, centre-left), main opposition party.
This article is originally published on boursorama.com