Berlusconi finds love - 50 years his junior

Berlusconi (76) is in a steady relationship with Francesca Pascale, who at 27 is nearly a third his age, supporters of the former PM said. There had been rumours of the relationship for months, and the pair was photographed together recently while watching Berlusconi’s football team, AC Milan.

But the romance was confirmed by one of the media tycoon’s most vocal cheerleaders, Daniela Santanche, an MP in his People of Freedom party, as well as the Italian press, with one newspaper describing the young woman as Italy’s new ‘first lady’.

Fourth time’s the charm: Silvio Berlusconi cosies up to Francesca Pascale, who is nearly 50 years his junior, while they attend the UEFA Champions League group C match between AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg in Milan on December 4. Pic/Getty Images

“Berlusconi introduces her as his girlfriend, and for me it is a beautiful thing. I know her as his girlfriend,” said Santanche. “Let’s say she is a person who is very close to him,” said Licia Ronzulli, a Euro MP in his party. “She’s more than a friend.”

A former shop assistant from Naples, Pascale served as a provincial councillor in his centre-Right PDL party until she stepped down in July.  She was one of the founding members of a support group called ‘Silvio, we miss you’.

She has said that her life revolves around three things — her family, politics, and Berlusconi — and is said to be jealous of the other women in his inner circle, including Mara Carfagna, a glamour model whom he appointed equal opportunities minister in his last government.

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