Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s eldest daughter yesterday hinted she may consider a future in politics as her father prepares to begin community service for tax fraud.
Berlusconi has groomed no political successor, putting increasing pressure on his children to step into his shoes.
Marina Berlusconi, the 47-year-old chairwoman of his Fininvest holding company who had steadfastly refused to indicate an interest in a career in politics, was interviewed by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
She said: “I have great respect for politics which I follow with great attention, but my place is in the company. Having said that, you can never rule anything out in life. So it’s like that today. Tomorrow, if it happened, politics, who knows?”
Italian media sources have also repeatedly reported that Berlusconi’s 29-year-old daughter Barbara is willing to take up a political career.
Berlusconi, 77, was convicted last year of a massive tax fraud scheme at his Mediaset television empire and is due to begin community service at a home catering for people with Alzheimer’s disease on 9 May.
As his sentence begins, questions are mounting over his ability to lead Italy’s centre-right and the future of his Forza Italia party, which splintered last year.
Prime minister Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party currently rules Italy. Berlusconi is banned from holding public office but he is allowed to take part in campaigning for European parliamentary elections next month.
He remains the dominant figure on the centre-right of Italian politics where his party sits on the opposition benches.