(Rome) “It’s hard, but I’ll get through it again this time,” said Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian head of government suffering from leukemia and hospitalized in intensive care, in Friday’s edition of daily Il Giornale.

“I managed to climb the slope, even in difficult and delicate situations”, he insists in the columns of this newspaper which is part of his media empire.

The 86-year-old media magnate, in intensive care since Wednesday at the prestigious San Raffaele hospital in Milan, “rested well and is responding well to his treatment”, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani also told Rai on Friday. 3.

Mr. Tajani is the number two of the party chaired by Silvio Berlusconi, Forza Italia, which is part of the government coalition led by Giorgia Meloni.

Nicknamed “the immortal” for his longevity in politics and re-elected to the Senate in 2022, the octogenarian suffers from a lung infection linked to “chronic myelomonocytic leukemia which he has suffered from for some time”, according to his doctors.

His relatives, in particular his brother and his children, marched to his bedside in the Cardiology unit of San Raffaele, located in the suburbs of Milan.

Supporters of Monza football club, owned by Berlusconi, hung a banner on the hospital gates: “Courage Silvio! Monza is with you.”

Former prime minister and senator Matteo Renzi (center), his lifelong political rival, tweeted a message of support on Friday morning: ‚ÄúCourage Silvio. We are waiting for you smiling in the Senate.”

Silvio Berlusconi, one of the richest men on the peninsula with a fortune valued by Forbes at 6.4 billion euros (9.5 billion Canadian dollars), has increased hospital stays in recent years.

Last month, the billionaire had already spent four days in the same hospital and was released a week ago.

Berlusconi, who entered politics in 1994, served as prime minister for a total of nine years. Despite a series of sex scandals and court cases that have tarnished his image, he has retained a special place in the hearts of many Italians.