Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has been urgently admitted to hospital in Monaco after suffering heart problems, a spokesman and his doctor said on Thursday.
The 84-year-old media tycoon, infamous for his 'bunga bunga' sex parties, 'is at the Cardiothoracic Hospital in Monaco for tests.'
'He will return home within a few days', his spokesman told AFP news agency.
Berlusconi's personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, told the Italian ANSA news agency that he had made an urgent visit to the former prime minister at his home in the south of France on Monday because of an irregular heart beat.
Zangrillo told Reuters news agency that he decided to transfer Berlusconi to a nearby hospital because he did not think it prudent to bring him to Italy, which is some 15 km (10 miles) from the small city-state.
Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has been urgently admitted to hospital in Monaco after suffering heart problems, a spokesman and his doctor said on Thursday [File photo]
The former premier was hospitalised for 11 days in September after contracting coronavirus, in what he said was 'perhaps the most difficult ordeal of my life'.
He contracted coronavirus after returning from a holiday at his luxury villa in Sardinia.
His daughter Barbara, 36, and son Luigi, 31, also became infected, as did his companion Marta Fascina.
'Thank heavens, thanks to the doctors, I got over what was perhaps the most difficult ordeal of my life. Once again, I seem to have got away with it!' he said as he left hospital.
A former crooner turned property and media magnate, Berlusconi was Italian prime minister for his centre-right Forza Italia on three occasions between 1994 and 2011.
Despite his regular brushes with the law and health concerns, including open heart surgery in 2016 and prostate cancer, the man known as 'the immortal' for his longevity in politics led the Italian right for more than two decades.
Due to his regular brushes with the law and health concerns, Berlusconi has become known as 'the immortal' for his longevity in politics. Pictured: Berlusconi with two unidentified women outside his luxury villa in Sardinia in 2004
The 84-year-old media tycoon, infamous for his 'bunga bunga' sex parties, 'is at the Cardiothoracic Hospital in Monaco for tests,' a spokesman said. Pictured: Berlusconi with ex-wife Veronica Lario in Rome in 2004
No stranger to controversy, Berlusconi survived a public scandal over the 'bunga bunga' sex parties at his private villa where women would strip after there were allegations that some of the women present were underage.
The flamboyant billionaire remains the head of the opposition Forza Italia party and his illness comes as Italy has been hit by political chaos after a junior coalition party quit the government, depriving it of a majority in parliament.
Newspapers have speculated that some Forza Italia lawmakers might agree to help prop up the administration to prevent early elections.
The party has steadily lost popularity with voters in recent years as Berlusconi battled legal problems linked to his media business and the sex parties.
After being convicted of tax fraud in 2013, he had to surrender his Senate seat. He is currently a legislator in the European Parliament.
Berlusconi was the prime minister of Italy three times between 1994 and 2011. Pictured: Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi (left) welcomes Berlusconi (right) to Tripoli in 2010