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Berlusconi to leave hospital Wednesday

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Italian PM Berlusconi attacked
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Berlusconi's personal doctor says Italian PM will leave hospital Wednesday
  • Italian PM Berlusconi has fractured nose and broken teeth
  • Police say Berlusconi was struck with metal model of Milan's cathedral
  • Attacker "harbored hatred" against Berlusconi, interior minister says
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Rome, Italy (CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should be released from the hospital Wednesday, three days after he was attacked in the face at a public rally in Milan, his personal doctor said Tuesday.

Berlusconi, 73, should refrain from public activities for two weeks after his release, Alberto Zangrillo said.

The prime minister suffered broken teeth and a fractured nose in the Sunday attack, in which a man threw a souvenir replica of Milan's cathedral at Berlusconi and hit him in the face.

Zangrillo said he doesn't believe Berlusconi will suffer permanent scars and that his teeth can be reconstructed.

Berlusconi's recovery will take another 25 days, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni told Italy's Lower Chamber of Deputies.

The attacker, Massimo Tartaglia, 42, was arrested shortly after the attack and is now in a Milan prison.

Police found Tartaglia was carrying other objects including pepper spray and a large crucifix in his pockets, which showed the attack was premeditated, Maroni said. Tartaglia had bought the replica of the Duomo di Milano, the city's central cathedral, at a souvenir shop, he said.

Tartaglia attacked Berlusconi "because he harbored hatred against the premier," Maroni said.

There has been a climate of hatred against Berlusconi in recent months, Maroni said, with many anti-Berlusconi Web pages. Maroni said he is thinking of introducing regulations to block them.

Maroni's words echoed those of Senate speaker Renato Schifani, who visited Berlusconi in the hospital Monday and said he was pained by the "hatred" that led to the attack. Berlusconi, a conservative media mogul-turned-politician, has been dogged by allegations of corruption and is the middle of a messy divorce from his second wife.

The three-term prime minister faces trial on tax fraud charges after Italy's top court struck down an immunity law that shielded him from prosecution. He denies the charges, calling them politically motivated.

His wife of 19 years, Veronica Lario, filed for divorce in May following allegations that an Italian businessman hired escorts for the premier and that he had attended the birthday party for an 18-year-old girl, with whom he has denied having an inappropriate relationship.

Berlusconi remains popular among the Italian public, however, with his approval ratings remaining well over 50 percent. He won a third term in 2008, and his conservative coalition has control of both the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

 
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