Berlusconi honored with state mourning in Milan

Silvio Berlusconi will be paid his last respects on Wednesday with a state funeral and a day of mourning ordered by the Italian government. Around 2000 guests from politics, business, sport and society are expected in the world-famous cathedral in Milan for the service for the politician and former prime minister who died at the age of 86. Among them are President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and almost all members of her cabinet.

According to media reports, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani from Qatar and Iraqi President Abdul Latif Raschid have announced that they will also be mourners. The EU Commission is represented by Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. CSU politician Manfred Weber arrives as head of the European People’s Party (EPP), which also includes Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. Most EU countries are represented by their ambassadors in Italy, with Viktor Elbling representing Germany.

About 20,000 Berlusconi supporters and other mourners are expected on the Duomo Square in front of the Cathedral in Milan. Two large screens were set up for them. Berlusconi was the most influential and influential politician of the past decades in Italy. The law stipulates that as ex-prime minister he will have a state funeral paid for with tax money.

So far only two presidents have been honored before Berlusconi

However, national mourning on the day of the funeral is unusual. In the past three decades, only two prime ministers have received this honor: Giovanni Leone and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, who, however, had also been presidents before their deaths. The two chambers of parliament in Rome canceled all voting this week. Berlusconi was a member of the Senate until his death.

“In my opinion, national mourning for such a divisive person as Silvio Berlusconi is inappropriate,” criticized Rosy Bindi, long-time leader of the Social Democrats, in a television interview. When he made his political debut in 1994, Berlusconi brought the Alleanza Nazionale, which was rooted in fascism, and the separatists of what was then the Northern League into government and made them politically acceptable.

Hank Peter

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