Biography of Silvio Berlusconi (1939-VVVV)

Politician, lawyer, real estate entrepreneur and Italian media Tycoon, born in Milan on September 29, 1939. He was elected Prime Minister of his country on three occasions, the last function satisfies on May 8, 2008.

Silvio Berlusconi



Child of an employee of Bank of middle class, Silvio was the eldest of three brothers, and he had a sister, María Antonieta Francesca and a brother, Paolo. He studied all of his secondary education at a Salesian College, then law at the University of Milan, and graduated with the degree cum laude with a thesis on the legal aspects of advertising, in 1961. Not fulfilled the military service for being free to being the eldest son in his family.

Once it leaves the Salesian boarding school where he did his studies, the young Berlusconi was devoted to all kinds of jobs in order to pay his college career right. Finished it, in 1963 he created his own construction company, taking advantage of experience gained in the sector earlier. With their knowledge, on the outskirts of Milan could carry out several projects, in particular the luxury development called Milano 2. 1965 he married Carla Elvira Dall'Oglio, with whom he had two children: Maria Elvira, better known as Marina (1966), and Pier Silvio (1968). Later, in 1980, Berlusconi established a relationship with the actress Veronica Lario, with whom he had three children: Barbara (1984), Eleonora (1986) and Luigi (1988). He divorced Dall'Oglio in 1985, and was married in second marriage to Lario in 1990.

It was gradually putting together a conglomerate of business, arising from shareholdings in editorials and media, such as the European Società di Edizioni (which controls the newspaper Il Giornale), then launched the channel of TV Telemilano, and acquired the Manzoni theatre. The economic boom of the country and his staff, enabled in 1978 to create the Fininvest, a holding company that includes, finances and ensures their business.

A few years later, Berlusconi begins to take its first steps in the world of communication. The implementation of Telemilano - a television channel which broadcast from the estate he built - and the acquisition of Il Giornale Nuovo (1980) lead to engage increasingly in this new terrain. Telemilano extended its coverage (can be tuned in all Lombardy shortly after), and its programming is specializing in entertainment (shows and movies) content. Creates Reteitalia, company dedicated to the acquisition of films and American TV shows, and this collection of material pushes you to expand its TV boundaries, which makes at the end of the seventies, as you are buying local television channels in crisis. When your television infrastructure covered a very large sector of the country, he entered the advertising business with Publitalia (1980), pillar of the holding company Fininvest, which will compete directly with the RAI (Italian public television).

The business activities of Berlusconi in the media led him to contact directly with the main political forces of the country - especially during the term of Bettino Craxi- and to develop through its network of local television Canale 5, a formula which was widely accepted throughout the country for its tone of simple entertainment. From a position of privilege, Berlusconi signed a large contract with three major U.S. networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), thanks to which consolidates itself as the sole distributor of their programs and series in Europe. This market, more some successes derived from exclusive sporting events, will give you even more autonomy and comparative advantages over its competitors posiibles.

Programming model introduced by the Milanese Tycoon is based, primarily, on large and flashy entertainment formats, series such as Dallas - followed by massive audiences - and movies (in any case, formats always dominated by omnipresent advertising, which since the 1980s artificially elongated programmes to be interrupted frequently, prompting numerous complaints from the world of cinema).

Berlusconi - holder of a holding with imbalances economic, but steady on strong turnover of Canale 5 - decided to expand in the sector of the Italian national television. In a bold operation lightning, acquired Italy 1 Rusconi (1983) editor and a year later, did the same with Retequattro of the Mondadori Group.

This almost absolute control over television in Italy provoked that RAI received a court order to stop the emissions for a few days, until the President of the Government (a personal friend of Berlusconi) the void, leaving the door open for the business of Il Cavaliere (which is known in all Italy Berlusconi). Around this same time, acquires Sorrisi e canzoni, a magazine of television information, which soon gets to double your sales.

Years later, in his attempt to control the largest number of media in your country, get made with the Publishing House Mondadori (composed of Panorama, time, Lespresso and other magazines, as well as the daily La Repubblica) and similar in the Group companies, until the Italian Antitrust Law forced him to leave part of their business in the editorial in the hands of Carlo De Benedetti, the former owner, in the spring of 1991, preserving even a large part of his great empire of communication.

With the granting of private television in Italy (1992), Berlusconi retained ownership of its three channels and expanded participation through Fininvest in other thematic channels of payment as Telepiù (involving the Kirch Group and Canal Plus), as well as participating in other audiovisual sectors, allowing him to consolidate today as a Tycoon owner of one of the most powerful groups in the world.

On 27 April 1994, under the chairmanship of Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Berlusconi agreed to the post of Prime Minister of the Italian Government, charge that it would occupy for seven months, since by scandals of corruption allegations pursued him, and forced him to get rid of part of his empire and to restructure the financial base of Mediaset, a company that, in future, will draw together his group. The mandate to comply until January 1995.

Crossing borders

Once it had controlled the Italian market, Berlusconi wanted to try their luck in France, and did so in February 1986 with La Cinq, string that went on to have a majority of the capital in the hands of the Milanese businessman, and that would apply is the Italian style of programming. Precisely these contents, and regulations that affect the media at the end of the 1980s, did threaten the project of this chain that without overcoming a share of audience to ensure their existence, that had to be closed six years later, victim of a strong deficit.

At the same time as in France, Berlusconi entered the German market, acquired the majority of shares of the KMP channel of Munich in 1986, to be called TeleFünf, with a program focusing on the family segment. The adventure, however, not consolidated, being obliged the entrepreneur to sell much of its actions at other companies - the Luxembourg broadcasting company (CLT) and the publishing house Springer - and stay with the advertising management through their company Mediolanum.

Berlusconi leads the third simultaneous in Spain, to buy the Rome studies in Madrid in 1986. Three years later he opted for one of the private channels granted by the Government. Under the name of "TV 5", and Valerio Lazarov in front, they begin to propalar their emissions on March 3, 1990. Problems between the shareholders did shake the project, especially since the Spanish partners considered not adequate programming proposed (identical to that established in Italy). At the same time that modeled - novel at first for the Spanish public - content, designed to aggressive advertising initiatives focused on sponsorship - always through Publiespaña. It will be the March of the advertising market which will influence the evolution of the private channel, that will suffer economic problems that will then lead it to a critical stage that, initially, it could control with the resignation of Lazarov (December 1994) and the presentation in front of the chain of Maurizio Carlotti, confidant of Berlusconi that in two years the chain was an important dimension of profitability and audience.

In 1994, Tele 5 was about to be bought by Televisa, owned by the Mexican Emilio Azcárraga, within the framework of negotiations that counted with the intervention of Jesús de Polanco and Antonio Asensio. One of the main reasons why the operation did not go forward was the limited percentage - 25% - which could provide Televisa, not to be a European company.

Berlusconi returned to politics. In the legislative elections held on May 13, 2001 conservative House of freedoms won overwhelmingly as the candidate of the coalition. On June 9, the President, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, tasked with the formation of the fifty-ninth Government of the Republic, and Berlusconi began his second career as Prime Minister on 11 June, controlling, at the same time, the television channels and part of the written press. Accomplished the legislature, he narrowly lost the general election of 2006 and gave the control of the Italian Government to the leader of the center-left Romano Prodi.

November 18, 2007 announced the dissolution of his Forza Italy party, and the creation of a new political formation, the Italian people's Party for freedom, which, in coalition with the Northern League, won again the elections, despite the opposition of Walter Veltroni, former Mayor of Rome, obtaining an absolute majority in both chambers. For the third time, this charismatic businessman and political leader agreed to the top of the hierarchy of power in Italy. German journalism, through the analysis of the Agency Deutsche Welle, was asked by the consistency of the project of the Italian agent who claims that "women's rights are more beautiful than the left-wing", or its recommendations that poor women who cannot afford it studies "are looking for is a good husband"; statements made in the context of the crisis with high unemployment rates.

The Alfano law, that Italian politicians in the exercise of its functions may not be prosecuted, is still in force, and to provide needed to not be prosecuted again by the judicial legal umbrella. However, not all the news are conducive, in February 2009 a British lawyer was sentenced to four years in jail for receiving money to testify in favour of Silvio Berlusconi on trial for corruption against the President.

An earthquake of 6.3 degrees on the Richter scale devastated Central Italy in April 2009, leaving 294 dead, 1,500 injured, and nearly 50,000 people with loss by total destruction of their homes. The epicenter was in the city of L´Aquila, in the region of Abruzzo. Under the rubble were historic buildings and monuments difficult to recover, and somewhat inappropriate were the words of Prime Minister Berlusconi, who advised the victims to consider the disaster as a"camping".

In May 2009, his second wife, Verónica Lario, asked her divorce, to which the President replied that she "does it in the middle of the campaign, falling into the trap of the left". The media echoed the irregular situations produced in different festivals of the President, animated by aspiring girls on television, called "velinas" that the guests came on official aircraft.

October was a month complicated for Prime Minister, with ups and downs on judicial issues, since the Milan court issued its sentence against suyay in favor of the newspaper La Repubblica, for a sum of EUR 750 million. The Italian Constitutional Court began on the same date the revision of the controversial law "Award Alfano", by which various personalities were benefited with immunity, including the Prime Minister, and it was declared incontitucional, so Berlusconi will again be prosecuted by suspended criminal proceedings. The Italian President then promoted a judicial reform, by which lawyers and judges will have a training and preparation other than the prosecutors, while the Milan Court of Appeal upheld the penalty of the English lawyer David Mills, to who was shown that Silvio Berlusconi paid him 400,000 euros for providing false testimony.

In November 2009 he requested a postponement of his trial for tax fraud in the Mediaset television network of its property, to attend an FAO Summit which took place in the same dates. Despite not having the favorable public opinion of the Italian people, the Prime Minister rallied 7 points in the popular consensus, after an attack in December, when a man threw the face a souvenir of the Duomo.


Fernandez-ARANAZ, Santiago: The Italy of Berlusconi. Madrid: Megazul, 1994.

IGEL, Regine: Berlusconi, race to the Italian. Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1992.

E García Fernández