Spaniard ‘bids €400m for Berlusconi mansion’

A Spanish entrepreneur has offered former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi around €400 million for his Sardinian villa, home to lavish parties and a fake volcano, local media has reported.

Spaniard 'bids €400m for Berlusconi mansion'
Silvio Berlusconi invited Russia's Vladimir Putin to his Sardinia Villa Certosa mansion in 2003 and 2008. Photo:AFP

“A very important family in Madrid is negotiating the purchase and just needs to fix the price. I think in the end it will be €380 or €400 million,” a person close to the deal told ABC Spain, Corriere della Sera reported.

However, Berlusconi’s office swiftly rejected the report, saying there were “no negotiations happening”.

“The rumour about the property sale…is devoid of any foundation,” the former prime minister’s staff said in a statement.

Villa Certosa is one of Berlusconi’s numerous lavish homes scattered across Italy and around the world.

The 80-acre property features two lakes, a spa and an amphitheatre, Corriere said.

But despite such surroundings, in 2006 Berlusconi felt something was missing and had a fake volcano built in the grounds.

The simulated eruptions led neighbours to call the fire brigade, who were sent away while the party continued.

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Spain has most Covid-19 cases in western Europe, says Johns Hopkins University

Spain is now the country in western Europe with the most Covid-19 cases, according to recent data, say Johns Hopkins University.

Spain has most Covid-19 cases in western Europe, says Johns Hopkins University
Covid-19 testing in Spain. Photo: Javier Soriano

The university in Baltimore, in the United States, has ranked countries with the highest total number of Covid-19 cases as of August 7th, using its own statistics and has placed Spain at the highest in western Europe with 314,362 confirmed cases.

An article in Spanish daily newspaper El País, using data from the university shows that Spain is followed very closely by United Kingdom with 310,667 cases, then Italy with 249,204 cases and France with 231,310 cases (although France's own health ministry figures list cases at 197,921).

Comparing case numbers between countries has not been a simple exercise, thanks to differing methods of reporting and and widely varying rates o testing throughout the pandemic.

Even though the statistics point to the fact that Spain has now overtaken the UK in terms of cases, death rates do not follow this trend.

The UK still has the highest number of deaths from Covid-19 in western Europe with 46,498 followed by Italy with 35,187 and then France with 30,308. Spain, on the other hand, has 28,500 deaths.

The UK has recently imposed a quarantine on all arrivals from Spain after a spike in cases in some regions.

READ ALSO Which countries have quarantines and travel restrictions in place for Spain?

According to accumulated data in the last two weeks, Spain has 81.4 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, making it the country with the second highest rate in Europe, surpassed only by Romania with 84.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Even though Italy experienced similar numbers to Spain just a few months ago, in the last two weeks Italy has has only registered 6.2 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.

The number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has now passed 19 million. 

The highest number of infections can be found in the United States with 4,883,646, followed by Brazil with 2,912,212, and India with almost two million. This is followed by Russia and then South Africa, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University.