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Doctors order Berlusconi to take a break

Doctors order Berlusconi to take a break
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Italian doctors have ordered Silvio Berlusconi not to engage in stressful public activity for at least 15 days.

The 73-year-old Italian Prime Minister is due to leave hospital tomorrow after being attacked outside a political rally in Milan.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said: “The job of the security services in situations like that is particularly delicate and complex. But the tone and political discourse that we’ve seen recently, especially the intense campaign against the prime minister, which in many cases has passed the legitimate limit in democratic conflicts, has ended up causing a dangerous spiral.”

Berlusconi has been treated for several broken teeth, a fractured nose and facial wounds after a man threw a metal statuette at him.

Debate is now raging about the likely impact of the attack on Italian politics. James Walston from the American University of Rome said: “Italy has a long history of political violence. If you look at the last hundred, hundred and fifty years, since Italian unification, more or less every generation, every twenty years, there have been major changes …

“Today we are approaching that kind of time and there are the premises of reaching some sort of revolution. Berlusconi will be leaving the scene very soon and there will be major changes. Whether they are violent or not depends very much on Berlusconi himself and on what happens between his supporters and the opposition.”

Some experts believe Berlusconi’s approval ratings are likely to rise, thanks to what they call a “sympathy factor”.

Charges have been laid against the man arrested after the attack. He is reported to have a history of mental health problems.

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