Patients and medical staff at a Catholic home for the elderly near Milan are bracing themselves for a new helper.
One of Italy’s richest men, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to work there at least one day a week performing a community service as part of his sentence for tax fraud.
A local journalist asked patients and their relatives how they viewed the prospect.
“If I see him, I will walk on the other side,” said one woman. Another said she will be happy to see him, “in spite of those who hate him”. And a third was more concerned about the chaos that will ensue with his presence.
Berlusconi has also had a travel ban imposed on him, preventing him from leaving the region, which he has accepted as he intends to campaign for his Forza Italia party in May’s European election.
The 77-year-old was convicted of tax fraud last year.
He has always protested his innocence and says he has been pursued by a left wing judiciary.