Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been taken to hospital in Milan.
The 86-year-old billionaire media tycoon has been readmitted after being discharged from hospital last month where he was treated for over six weeks for a lung infection linked to chronic leukaemia.
But San Raffaele hospital has said his latest visit was for a planned medical check-up and not linked to any emergency, although it is reported that following tests the decision was taken to keep him in.
In response, deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, one of Berlusconi’s main political allies, wrote on Instagram: “Come on Silvio.”
Berlusconi’s health has markedly deteriorated in recent years, with open-heart surgery in 2016 and numerous hospital admissions since contracting COVID-19 three years ago.
He led the country three times from 1994-1995, 2001-2006 and 2008-2011.
In his last term in office Italy came close to a Greece-style debt crisis and he faced numerous scandals, most notably around his notorious “bunga bunga” parties.
Although he does not have a direct role in government, his Forza Italia party is a member of Prime Minister
Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing coalition.
He returned to the Senate at a general election last September, nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction.