36. Silvio Berlusconi – $7.8 billion
Silvio Berlusconi is not only the most colorful European politician but also one of the richest.
Il Cavaliere was tied to countless scandals, but that did not stop him from dominating Italian politics for the last two decade. Berlusconi headed four Governments for nine years in total, always being able to fool undecided voters with his generous smile and populist agenda.
Berlusconi made his fortune in media and amassed further power by owning the prestigious football club A.C. Milan. Current ventures are less transparent to the public eye, and some link the tycoon with dubious deals with Russia, which would work great to explain his close relationship with President Vladimir Putin.
Only Berlusconi’s impressive record of legal battles overtakes his outstanding political career and flair for great businesses. With thousands of court appearances and hundreds of trials linked to his name, Berlusconi reminded us why Italia is the home of the Mafia.
The 80-year-old managed to avoid jail only because of his old age. Despite retirement, Silvio still rules the Forza Italia party from the shadows.