In a statement, the press office said Berlusconi had phoned his deputy, Antonio Tajani, to assure him he was OK. He was suffering from acute renal colic, which is pain often caused by kidney stones. In excerpts of the speech he had planned to deliver, Berlusconi railed against the isolationist bent of the current populist government of the right-wing League and the 5-Star Movement. He warned that Italy couldn't confront the threat of African migration, Chinese "imperialistic design" and Islamic fundamentalism without European support.
The three-time premier has suffered heart problems in the past. He has said despite his age, he wants to run for the European Parliament elections to restore Europe to its values. His once-dominant Forza Italia party trails in the polls behind the League, the 5-Stars and the opposition Democratic Party.