Tuesday 15th December, 2009 (IANS)
Vatican City, Dec 15 (IANS/AKI) Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi deploring the violent attack against the premier, the Vatican daily Osservatore Romano reported Tuesday.
Berlusconi, 73, is in hospital in the northern city of Milan after he was struck in the face at a political rally Sunday by a man believed to have psychiatric problems.
The papal telegram Monday deplored the attack and expressed the pontiff's 'fatherly closeness' with Berlusconi, wishing him 'a speedy recovery'. It was signed by Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone, the Osservatore Romano said.
Berlusconi suffered a broken nose and teeth, heavy bleeding and facial injuries when 42-year-old Massimo Tartaglia hit him in the face outside Milan's cathedral with a souvenir statuette of the Gothic landmark.
Berlusconi's personal physician Alberto Zangrillo said Berlusconi was having 'great difficulty' eating Monday and to have been shaken by the attack.
Doctors at Milan's San Raffaele hospital said Monday they would be keeping the premier in hospital a second night and have estimated it will take him 20 days to recover.
'We'll review the situation tomorrow (Tuesday), but it is not certain we will be discharging him then,' said Zangrillo.