Italy's Marina Berlusconi: No Plans to Enter Politics

7:50 AM PST 10/29/2013 by Eric J. Lyman
Silvio and Marina Berlusconi

The eldest child of billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi won't follow in her father's footsteps, saying she's happy in the media world as the chair of Fininvest.

ROME – Marina Berlusconi, the eldest child of Italy’s three-time prime minister and billionaire media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, says she has no intention of following her father into politics and that she’s happy in her post as the chair of Fininvest, the holding company that controls the family’s media empire.

The elder Berlusconi has been the central figure in Italian politics over the last two decades, but legal woes have limited his effectiveness in recent months, starting with a definitive conviction in a tax fraud and false accounting case in August. Now he faces a year of house arrest or community service, a ban from politics and loss of his Senate seat. Meanwhile, three other legal cases alleging bribery, illegal wire taps, abuse of power and paying an underage girl for sex are all working their way through the courts.

Back in June, with the problems already looming, Berlusconi said his 47-year-old daughter would be his political heir even though she had never shown much interest in politics. This week, she made her intentions clear: "My past, present and future [is] at Mediaset," she said.

Mediaset, founded by the elder Berlusconi, controls three national television networks in Italy, one in Spain, plus a cinema production and distribution house and various other media. It is controlled by Fininvest, which Marina Berlusconi chairs.

Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter included Marina Berlusconi on its list of the 25 most powerful women in global television.

Despite the legal problems of the company’s founder so far this year, Fininvest and Mediaset have done well under Marina Berlusconi’s leadership. The company’s shares were trading midsession Tuesday at €3.76 ($5.15), having more than tripled since reaching an all-time low in December.

Twitter: @EricJLyman

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