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MPs brawl in Italian Parliament ahead of G7 Summit | WATCH

The altercation began when Five Star Movement (M5S) deputy Leonardo Donno attempted to tie an Italian flag around Regional Affairs Minister Roberto Calderoli's neck in protest.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Rome Updated on: June 14, 2024 9:35 IST
Italian Parliament Italy
Image Source : AP/FILE PHOTO Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni talks during question time at the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian Parliament's lower house, in Rome.

A heated brawl erupted in the Italian parliament on Wednesday evening over the far-right government's controversial plans to grant more autonomy to regions, triggering widespread uproar and comparisons to fascist-era violence. The altercation began when Five Star Movement (M5S) deputy Leonardo Donno attempted to tie an Italian flag around the neck of Regional Affairs Minister Roberto Calderoli from the pro-autonomy Northern League. Donno's act was a protest against the proposed regional autonomy, which critics argue threatens Italy's unity.

Escalation and injuries

Following Donno's protest, League deputies rushed to confront him, leading to a chaotic scene involving around 20 parliamentarians. Donno was injured and had to be evacuated in a wheelchair before being taken to the hospital.

Political reactions

The brawl prompted a flurry of reactions from political leaders and dominated Italian newspaper headlines. Many condemned the behaviour of the elected officials. La Repubblica likened the scene to the post-World War I paramilitary forces that became Mussolini's Blackshirts, while Corriere della Sera described the parliament as a "boxing ring."

Divergent views

Lawmakers from the League and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party accused Donno of provoking the incident and exaggerating his injuries. Meanwhile, M5S called the brawl a "serious and shameful attack" and demanded immediate action. M5S leader Giuseppe Conte criticised the violence from the Meloni majority on social media.

Calls for higher standards

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stressed the need for lawmakers to set a better example, stating that the chamber should not resemble a boxing ring and that political issues should be resolved through dialogue, not physical confrontations.

Context and historical precedents

The autonomy proposal has faced significant criticism, with opponents arguing it will worsen public services in poorer regions. This is not the first time physical altercations have occurred in the Italian parliament; in 2021, Brothers of Italy deputies disrupted a debate on the COVID-19 health pass.

As Italy prepares to host the G7 Summit, the parliamentary brawl has highlighted deep political divisions and raised concerns about the conduct of its elected officials.

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