Mogul has broken teeth, fractured nose

MILAN — Doctors told Italy’s bloodied media mogul and prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, on Monday that it may take him weeks to recover from the attack on Sunday night that left him with two broken teeth and a fractured nose.

The 73-year-old tycoon, who controls private broadcaster Mediaset, had been speaking at a political rally in Milan when a man in the crowd whacked him in the face with a statue of the city’s cathedral.

Both political supporters and opponents of the controversial prime minister said the incident highlighted the increasingly febrile political atmosphere in Italy.

Berlusconi supporters said hatred against him had been whipped up by political films such as “Videocracy” and “Shooting Silvio,” as well as what they claim are judges and journalists with a left-wing bias.

Communities minister Andrea Ronchi, said, “It’s time to say ‘enough’ to people who spread hatred and would like to create in Italy a climate of civil war.”

Opposition pols, while condemning the incident, said the conservative politician was partly responsible for the hostile climate due to his belligerent attacks on the country’s judiciary. He claims communist magistrates are out to topple his government.

Berlusconi is due to be tried for tax fraud in January. The case centers around the purchase of Hollywood film rights by his company Mediaset in the early 1990s.

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