Comments by a confidant suggest the aging former Prime Minister, media magnate and lounge singer may have given up hope of winning the largely ceremonial job of president. 

The operation that wanted to bring 85-year old Silvio Berlusconi to the presidential Quirinale palace seems to have halted. Vittorio Sgarbi, who in recent days had helped the Forza leader to contact parliamentarians ahead of next week’s vote told RAI Radio 1 that “Berlusconi was quite sad last night.” 


He added: “At the moment the “Operation Squirrel” has stopped. Berlusconi could return to Rome tomorrow, “But, even if half of the 110 calls we need to mak are answered, it would not be enough,” said Sgarbi.


Berlusconi remained in Milan, Sgarbi said, and did not travel to rome for the vote in Parliament. “I think this delay is because he is thinking if there is an honorable way out,” added Sgarbi.


“If I were in Berlusconi, I would already look for another nominee today,” to represent his Forza party in the race for president.


La Presse

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