Italy’s former Prime Minister is under medical observation after collapsing at a rally in Tuscany. Silvio Berlusconi reportedly suffered a sudden drop in blood pressure that caused him to faint. The 70-year-old is said to have quickly recovered but tests showed he was suffering from a minor heart problem. Berlusconi was flown home and later went to hospital. As he left, he told supporters: “I am fine. I am going to the San Raffaele hospital where they want to monitor me for 24 hours.”
The ex-head of government also went on to explain that he had been feeling tired and that the heat in the auditorium had made him feel unwell. Witnesses say Berlusconi began to sweat and look sick as he drew to the end of his speech. He just had time to warn the gathering of young centre-right followers before collapsing. He said the emotion of the day had got the better of him.
Berlusconi’s spokesman says he is well and reassured supporters that he would be at a protest against Romano Prodi’s government on Saturday.