Italian politician Pier Luigi Bersani is stable after stroke

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Italian politician Pier Luigi Bersani is stable after stroke

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Doctors treating Pier Luigi Bersani, former leader of the Italian centre-left, say his condition is stable after surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

The unexepcted illness of Bersani, who underwent surgery on Sunday night, prompted an outpouring of sympathy and support, including from Prime Minister Enrico Letta and rivals Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo.

“Mr. Bersani has no brain damage, he is not intubated, nor sedated. He’s alert, and he chatted with his relatives,” said Leonida Grisendi, general director of Parma’s Maggiore Hospital.

But Bersani’s surgeon, Ermanno Giombelli, was cautious in his comments during a press conference broadcast from a hospital in the northern city of Parma, saying complications can follow such surgery several days later.

At 62 Bersani may have expected several more years on the frontline of Italian politics. One of his last parliamentary acts was helping lead the chorus of opposition that finally forced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation. But he lost his Democratic Party leadership after a poor show in last February’s elections to now Prime Minister Enrico Letta.