Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is likely to spend at least two days in hospital under observation following an assault last night after a party rally in Milan.
The 73 year-old was hit in the face with a metal statue thrown by Massimo Tartaglia, a man who reportedly has been following psychiatric treatment for the last 10 years.
While Berlusconi’s injuries are superficial, doctors say he was disoriented after the attack but spent a “peaceful” night.
He was bundled into his car after the incident but repeatedly got out again to show his injuries to supporters. Police immediately arrested Tartaglia, who was subjected to a barrage of abuse from the crowd which attempted to manhandle him.
Messages of support have mushroomed outside Milan’s San Raffaele hospital where Berlsuconi is being treated, including one sign which reads “Get well soon, the real Italians are with you, and always will be.”