Berlusconi sees U.S. doctor

Media mogul visits States for medical examination

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi flew to the U.S. over the weekend for a medical examination, a spokesman told reporters on Sunday, three weeks after Italy’s most powerful media mogul was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat.

The scant detail and abrupt departure has Italian media buzzing that the 70-year-old Berlusconi may be fitted for a pacemaker.

After he collapsed Nov. 26 at a political rally, doctors found Berlusconi had an irregular heartbeat, but said there was no reason for concern. Still, Italian newspapers started speculating that he would need to appoint a successor in the near future to lead Italy’s center-right political bloc.

Chatter died down, however, when Berlusconi emerged from the hospital and, within days, addressed his political followers at a major rally in Rome.