Italian MPs fight, throw punches ahead of G7 Summit: ’I could no longer breathe’ | What happened exactly?

Italy Parliament ‘embarrassment’: In a viral video, Opposition party Leonardo Donno could be seen trying to hand a flag to another MP. Chaos ensued as other lawmakers approached the MP, and scuffles broke out.

Livemint
Updated14 Jun 2024, 09:37 AM IST
A video showed lawmakers attacking Donno, who opposed a Bill in the Italian Parliament on Thrusday.
A video showed lawmakers attacking Donno, who opposed a Bill in the Italian Parliament on Thrusday.

Just ahead of the G7 Summit, chaos unfolded at the Italian Parliament as MPs brawled over a bill seeking to grant certain regions further autonomy. Tensions in Italy's lower house resulted in a fist-fight, with an MP 'leaving in a wheelchair' after being punched on Wednesday, Daily Mail reported.

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Those who opposed the controversial bill at the centre of the debate argued that it will "further exacerbate the north-south divide in the country and bring more hardship to the impoverished south," the Washington Post reported.

 

According to the report, Leonardo Donno, an opposition party member and 5-Star Movement lawmaker, was trying to hand a flag to another MP. Chaos ensued as other lawmakers approached the MP, and scuffles broke out. The “wild brawl” involved “dozens of MPs”, Sky News reported.

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A video showed lawmakers attacking Donno, who opposed the changes. Donno tried to give regional affairs minister Roberto Calderoli an Italian flag. As Donno approached, Calderoli rejected the tricolour flag and backed away.

Within seconds, others in the House joined the fray, shoving one another and throwing punches into the crowd. "Calderoli, from the Lega party, drafted the proposal benefiting northern regions like Veneto and Lombardy," a report claimed.

Donno later told Italian news agency Adnkronos that he “got close” to Calderoli to hand him the flag and “nothing else.”

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“Then, chaos ensued,” Donno was quoted as saying. He added, that he didn’t just get kicked several times but also received a "very strong blow" to his sternum. "I collapsed because I could no longer breathe," he told the media as per the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Deputy of right-wing Italian party “Lega” Igor Iezzi defended himself, saying “I tried to punch him (Donno), but I couldn’t hit him. Donno tried to attack Calderoli and I reacted."

Following the incident, as many as 11 “men were sanctioned for participating in the brawl on Wednesday at the Chamber of Deputies,” Sky News reported.

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Senate Speaker Ignazio La Russa from Brothers of Italy expressed embarrassment over the fracas. The incident was reported as Italy hosted world leaders for the annual G7 Summit in Puglia on Thursday.

Reacting to the viral incident, Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told Italy’s Sky TG24 news channel, “I have no words...We need to set another example, not punches to resolve political problems.”

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First Published:14 Jun 2024, 09:37 AM IST
HomeNewsWorldItalian MPs fight, throw punches ahead of G7 Summit: ’I could no longer breathe’ | What happened exactly?

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