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Berlusconi was born in Milan in 1936, where he was raised in a middle-class family.

His father, Luigi

Berlusconi (19081989), was a bank employee, and his mother, Rosa Bossi (19112008), a
housewife. Silvio was the first of three children; he had a sister, Maria Francesca Antonietta Berlusconi
(19432009), and has a brother, Paolo Berlusconi (born 1949).
After completing his secondary school education at a Salesian college, he studied law at the Universit
Statale in Milan, graduating (with honours) in 1961 with a thesis on the legal aspects of advertising.
Berlusconi was not required to serve the standard one-year stint in the Italian army which was
compulsory at the time. During his university studies he was an upright bass player in a group formed
with the now Mediaset Chairman and amateur pianist Fedele Confalonieri and occasionally performed as
a cruise ship crooner. In later life he wrote AC Milan's anthem with the Italian music producer and pop
singer Tony Renis and Forza Italia's anthem with the opera director Renato Serio. With
the Neapolitan singer Mariano Apicella he wrote two Neapolitan songalbums: Meglio 'na canzone in 2003
and L'ultimo amore in 2006.
In 1965, he married Carla Elvira Dall'Oglio, and they had two children: Maria Elvira, better known as
Marina (born 1966), and Pier Silvio (born 1969). By 1980, Berlusconi had established a relationship with
the actress Veronica Lario (born Miriam Bartolini), with whom he subsequently had three
children: Barbara (born 1984), Eleonora (born 1986) and Luigi (born 1988). He was divorced from
Dall'Oglio in 1985, and married Lario in 1990. By this time, Berlusconi was a well-known entrepreneur,
and his wedding was a notable social event. One of his best men was Bettino Craxi, a former prime
minister and leader of the Italian Socialist Party. In May 2009, Lario announced that she was to file for
On 28 December 2012, Berlusconi was ordered to pay his ex-wife Veronica Lario $48 million a year in a
divorce settlement that was filed Christmas Day, and he will keep the $100 million house they live in with
their three children
In 1978 Berlusconi founded his first media group, Fininvest, and joined the Propaganda Due masonic
lodge. In the five years leading up to 1983 he earned some 113 billion Italian lire (58.3 million). The
funding sources are still unknown because of a complex system of holding companies, despite
investigations conducted by various state attorneys.
Relations with Libya
On 30 August 2008, the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
signed a historic cooperation treaty in Benghazi. Under its terms, Italy would pay $5 billion to Libya as
compensation for its former military occupation. In exchange, Libya would take measures to
combat illegal immigration coming from its shores and boost investment in Italian companies. The treaty
was ratified by the Italian government in 6 February 2009, and by Libya on 2 March, during a visit
to Tripoli by Berlusconi. In June Gaddafi made his first visit to Rome, where he met Prime Minister
Berlusconi, Italian President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano and Senate's Speaker Renato
Schifani. Gaddafi also took part in the G8 summit in L'Aquila in July as Chairman of the African
Union. During the summit a warm handshake between US President Barack Obama and Muammar
Gaddafi took place (the first time the Libyan leader had been greeted by a serving US president). Later, at
the summit's official dinner hosted by President Giorgio Napolitano, US and Libyan leaders upset protocol
by sitting next to Italian Prime Minister and G8 host Berlusconi. (According to protocol, Gaddafi should
have sat three places away from Berlusconi.)

Relations with Russia

In November 2007, Italy's state-owned energy company Eni signed an agreement with Russian state-
owned Gazprom to build the South Streampipeline. Investigating Italian parliament members discovered
that Central Energy Italian Gas Holding (CEIGH), a part of the Centrex Group, was to play a major role in
the lucrative agreement. Bruno Mentasti-Granelli, a close friend of Berlusconi, owned 33 percent of
CEIGH. The Italian parliament blocked the contract and accused Berlusconi of having a personal interest
in the Eni-Gazprom agreement.
Berlusconi is among the most vocal supporters of closer ties between Russia and the European Union. In
an article published in Italian media on 26 May 2002, he said that the next step in Russia's growing
integration with the West should be EU membership.
On 17 November 2005 Berlusconi commented,
in relation to the prospect of such membership, that he is "convinced that even if it is a dream ... it is not
too distant a dream and I think it will happen one day."
The Prime Minister of Italy has made similar
comments on other occasions as well.

Berlusconi has a warm relationship with Vladimir Putin.