The stability of the Italian government, analysts said, may depend on the decisions of Mr. Berlusconi’s daughter, Marina, widely considered to be the sharpest in a family that has had its own succession feuds.
“The question is will Marina Berlusconi step in?” said Roberto D’Alimonte, a political scientist at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome. “The party will disband without the Berlusconi brand.”
“If she steps in,” he said, or makes it clear she is running things behind the scenes, “the party has a chance to survive and the Meloni government won’t be particularly affected,” as the two are understood to be in sync. If Ms. Berlusconi, an executive in her father’s empire who apparently does not love politics, stays away, he said, “the repercussions will be greater.”
Her father did little without repercussions.
Mr. Rocca said that one story about Mr. Berlusconi summed him up.
When he was starting out as a real estate tycoon in Milan, he said, Mr. Berlusconi wanted to build a suburban-like housing complex and market it as an oasis of peace and quiet.
But planes flying in and out of the nearby airport made that a hard sell. To reroute the planes, Mr. Berlusconi built a hospital, over which they could not fly, greasing more than a few palms in the process. The hospital, San Raffaele, became a center of excellence, and it was where he died on Monday morning.
“That’s Berlusconi — entrepreneur, outlaw, politician,” he said. “But somehow in the end, it was a good thing.”
Elisabetta Povoledo and Gaia Pianigiani contributed reporting.
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