With the concession of his main rival, conservative media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is set to take up a third term as Italy’s prime minister. Although a divisive and controversial figure, Berlusconi offered “An affectionate kiss to all Italians” over the news.
Mr Berlusconi said in a telephone call to public television: “We have difficult months ahead that will require great strength.”
According to Ansa news agency, before ringing off, he added: “An affectionate kiss to all Italians.”
With the economy a key election issue, both men had promised modest tax cuts and reductions in bureaucracy.