Italy MP 'blacks up' for anti-migrant speech

Right-wing MP smears greasepaint on face in parliament, saying Italians need to be "a bit darker" to access state aid.

    Italy MP 'blacks up' for anti-migrant speech
    The NL denies allegations of racism towards the Congo-born integration minister, Cecile Kyenge [EPA]

    A right-wing Italian politician smeared his face with black greasepaint in parliament, advising Italians to "become a bit darker" if they wanted to take advantage of the country's supposed hand-outs to black immigrants.

    Northern League MP Gianluca Buonanno protested late on Wednesday that asylum seekers and migrants were given free accommodation and other benefits when white Italians were struggling to survive.

    He told parliament that too much money was being given to immigrants when Italy did nothing for its own citizens.

    Gianluca Buonanno in parliament.

    "At the end of the day, maybe in this country in order to achieve anything we need to be a bit darker.

    "I say we can all put make-up on and make ourselves a bit darker, and then we can all go around painted black and say we want the same help that non-EU citizens get."

    The Northern League has accused Cecile Kyenge, the country's Congo-born minister for integration, of using her post to "favour negritude".

    Kyenge is Italy's first black politician and has experienced multiple incidents of racism, not least from the Northern League.

    Its leader Roberto Calderoli compared her to an orang-utan last year. He was later charged with defamation aggravated by racial discrimination.

    Kyenge has also had bananas thrown at her during public appearances and the political party's official newspaper has started printing her daily agenda, detailing her official appointments.

    In response, Nichi Vendola, the head of the left-wing SEL party, tweeted: “Can someone tell the racists that we're in the Third Millennium and are a civilised country, despite them.

    “The racists think they're in Alabama or Mississippi of a half-century ago or in South Africa during apartheid.”

    Italy has been criticised for its poor treatment of refugees and asylum seekers by the UN, EU and human rights groups, among others.

    In October, a UN official said a boat disaster that left 300 people feared dead off the Italian coast was the result of a repressive policy towards illegal immigrants.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.