The 86-year-old billionaire and media mogul said in this pre-recorded speech that was shown at his right-wing party’s Forza Italia conference.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi spoke to his supporters for the first time in a video message on Saturday from his hospital room, where he was admitted a month ago.
“Here I am, I’m here for you, in a T-shirt and jacket for the first time in a month,” the 86-year-old billionaire media mogul said in this pre-recorded speech shown at his right-wing party’s Forza Italia (Forward Italy) conference.
Elegantly dressed and seated behind a desk with the party banner and the Italian flag behind him, Berlusconi thanked his supporters for their support “which helped me more than anything to overcome a very serious pneumonia”.
Berlusconi was admitted to the well-known San Raffaele Hospital in Milan (north) on April 5 due to suffering from a lung infection. And then the doctors first indicated that he had leukemia. After his admission, he spent a week and a half in intensive care.
A source in his party told AFP earlier in the week that he hoped to leave hospital in time for his two-day party congress, which began Friday in Milan.
But he eventually recorded his message from his hospital room on Friday, according to media reports.
Berlusconi’s doctors said on Wednesday that his condition was “stable” but did not say when he would be discharged from hospital.
His party, Forza Italia, is a partner in the coalition government headed by Georgia Meloni. Berlusconi is the founder of the party and is still its president.
Although he is a member of the Senate, he rarely appears in public.
Berlusconi was repeatedly hospitalized, especially after contracting Covid-19.
Forza Italia has lost a large number of its supporters since the height of its popularity, when Berlusconi served as prime minister three times between 1994 and 2011.
A recent poll conducted by YouTrend showed that Forza Italia has only 7 percent support, compared to about 29 percent for the far-right “Fratelli d’Italia” (Brothers of Italy) party led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Berlusconi said in his message on Saturday that his party is “the backbone of this government” and is present “to ensure that its decisions are correct, fair and balanced.”
And he indicated in the 20-minute video clip, which was met with applause, that he was ready to return to work.