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Silvio Berlusconi’s political comeback takes him to human rights court


Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends the political show 'Porta a Porta' at RAIÕs broadcast studios, on November 16, 2017 in Rome, Italy.

Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis | Corbis via Getty Images

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends the political show ‘Porta a Porta’ at RAIÕs broadcast studios, on November 16, 2017 in Rome, Italy.

Italian politician and billionaire businessman Silvio Berlusconi has taken his fight to become eligible for next year’s Italian election to the European Court of Human Rights.

Berlusconi appealed to the Strasbourg-based court in 2013 after a criminal conviction for tax fraud triggered a six-year ban from public office. The beleaguered former prime minister has denied all wrongdoing and his lawyers are hoping a lifting of the ban will mean he can run in the next Italian election expected to take place in early 2018.

The media tycoon’s political career was widely regarded to have ended in 2011 following a string of scandals. Berlusconi was forced to resign as prime minister amid a sex scandal involving his “bunga bunga” parties, while Italian bond yields were skyrocketing at the height of the euro zone debt crisis.

After recovering from open heart surgery in 2016, the 81-year old politician known as the ‘Comeback Kid’ by his supporters has yet again returned to the political arena. And as head of the “Forza Italia” party, he is seeking to form a center-right coalition in the national ballot next spring.

Somewhat surprisingly, Berlusconi’s political revival is currently viewed as “a force of stability” by financial markets, Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen, head of multi-asset strategy at NN Investment Partners, told CNBC Wednesday.

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