Key dates in Berlusconi's political career27 november 2013, 13:55
Silvio Berlusconi has been a headline act on the Italian political scene since the early 1990s in a career dogged by prosecutions that are likely to lead to his expulsion from parliament later on Wednesday.
Here are some of the key dates in his career:
1994: The billionaire media tycoon wins elections with his Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, following a wave of anti-corruption investigations that decimate the old political order dominated by the Christian-Democrats.
Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the right-wing Forza Italia (Go Italy) party and head of the head of the Freedom Alliance votes in the landmark Italian general elections March 28. ©Reuters/STR New
Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the right-wing Forza Italia (Go Italy) party and head of the Freedom Alliance gestures at his party's election headquarters after initial exit polls projected his party would win an absolute majority for Italy's 630-member chamber of deputies March 29. ©Reuters/Paul Hanna
But the new prime minister is forced to resign just months later after his coalition partner, the Northern League party, pulls out of their coalition after news that Berlusconi is to be investigated for bribery.
2001: Berlusconi wins elections a second time after a powerful media campaign in which he signed a "Contract with Italians" on live television promising to slash taxes and unemployment and launch major public works.
Italy's new Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) signs his swearing-in form in front of President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi during an official ceremony at Quirinale palace in Rome June 11, 2001. ©Reuters
He goes on to serve the longest stint as prime minister in Italy's post-war history, surviving mass protests and Italy's first general strike in 20 years as critics accuse him of repeatedly breaking his election promises.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures to photographers ashe stands on the podium with US President George W. Bush (L) who talks with French President Jacques Chriac (2nd L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) prior to the family photograph of the G8 leaders in central Genoa, July 22, 2001. ©Reuters
2006: Berlusconi steps down after being narrowly defeated by a centre-left coalition led by Romano Prodi, a former president of the European Commission.
A demonstrator holds a placard in the form of a road sign reading "Prodi out" during a centre-right rally in Rome December 2, 2006. Thousands of Italian centre-right supporters gathered in Rome on Saturday for the first big rally against Romano Prodi's government, called by conservative leader Silvio Berlusconi less than a week after he fainted in public. ©Reuters/Max Rossi
That government collapses due to internal disagreements over Italian troop deployments in Afghanistan and Berlusconi wins a third election victory in 2008.
Italian centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi waves during a political party meeting for his electoral campaign in downtown Turin March 2, 2008. ©Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo
2009: Berlusconi's wife Veronica Lario files for divorce and accuses the prime minister of cavorting with underage girls who "sacrifice" themselves to him for the sake of money and career advancement.
Lario's anger is triggered by a public scandal and sleazy headlines over 18-year-old Neapolitan model Noemi Letizia, who reveals that she called Berlusconi "papi" (daddy) and that he had promised to help her.
Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) sits near a television monitor showing images of him and his wife Veronica Lario during the taping of the television program Porta a Porta ("Door to door" in Italian) in Rome May 5, 2009. His wife Veronica said over the weekend she planned to file for divorce, days after criticising Berlusconi for attending an 18-year old aspiring model's birthday party and a "shamelessly trashy" selection of female candidates for European elections. The headline reads "And Veronica asked for divorce" in Italian. ©Reuters/Remo Casilli
A prostitute, Patrizia D'Addario, also makes public claims of sex for money with Berlusconi at his residence in Rome, claiming they did it on a bed he received from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Patrizia D'Addario. ©Reuters/Fabio Serino
2011: Berlusconi steps down following a parliamentary revolt, a wave of panic on the financial markets and a growing number of sex scandals and criminal probes.
Italy reaches the brink of default, with borrowing costs on its 10-year sovereign bonds rising to 7.0 percent amid concern the eurozone will break apart.
Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (L) shakes hands with his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi at Chigi Palace in Rome November 16, 2011. ©Reuters/Stefano Rellandini
2013: Berlusconi is sentenced for having sex with a then underage 17-year-old prostitute nicknamed Ruby the Heart Stealer and for abusing the powers of the prime minister's office for putting pressure on police to release her from custody after her arrest for theft.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) at Villa Madama in Rome and Moroccan Karima El Mahroug, nicknamed Ruby. ©AFP
He also loses a second and final appeal over a tax fraud conviction linked to his business interests, which becomes his first ever definitive conviction.
On November 16, Berlusconi's former protege, Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano, quits the tycoon's People of Freedom party to set up his own grouping, offering more stability to the ruling coalition.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (L) next to People of Freedom Party (PDL) secretary Angelino Alfano. ©Reuters/Max Rossi