Berlusconi honored

Despite criticism: Milan becomes Bunga Bunga Airport

11.07.2024 16:37

There was a lot of resistance, but probably not enough: the most important airport in the Italian metropolis of Milan now bears the name of the late former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Milan Malpensa Airport - also a hub for international air traffic - is now officially called Aeroporto Silvio Berlusconi. The decision was fast-tracked by the right-wing government in Rome, one of the pillars of which is the Berlusconi party Forza Italia. Right-wing Transport Minister Matteo Salvini was not deterred by much criticism from the opposing camp.

More than 100,000 signatures against
According to his ministry, the leader of the Lega party signed the resolution as announced - just a few days after the Italian aviation authority Enac approved the plans. Many in Berlusconi's home city of Milan are also against the new name for Italy's second largest airport. More than 100,000 people signed a petition against it.

The mayor of the metropolis of 1.3 million people, the centre-left politician Beppe Sala, tried to prevent the project with a regulation according to which public buildings and squares may only be given the name of a famous person ten years after their death - without success.

Controversial politician honored
Berlusconi died in June last year at the age of 86. Since then, there has been a dispute between the various political camps as to how he should be remembered. The construction and media entrepreneur was already one of the most controversial figures in Italian politics during his lifetime.

Berlusconi was born in Milan in 1936. In the 1990s, he founded his own party, Forza Italia, and moved into politics. Despite a series of affairs and scandals, the right-wing populist was prime minister four times, most recently until 2011. He was also at the helm of the AC Milan soccer club for many years. Today, Forza Italia governs Rome together with Salvini's Lega party as part of a right-wing three-party coalition.

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