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Scuffle in the Italian parliament PA
Rome

Italian politician taken to hospital after fistfight erupts in parliament

Italian media reported that Leonardo Donno was taken to hospital after being hit in the head and the chest.

TENSIONS IN THE lower house of Italy’s parliament erupted into a fistfight over a controversial government proposal that opponents say will further impoverish the poor south.

One opposition politician was taken to hospital.

Politicians were seen converging on Leonardo Donno, of the populist 5-Star Movement party, who opposes the changes, after he tried to hand an Italian flag to regional affairs minister Roberto Calderoli.

Calderoli, a firebrand politician from the Lega party with northern roots, drafted the contested expansion of regional autonomy which would mostly benefit regions like Lega strongholds of Veneto and Lombardy.

Italian media reported that Donno was taken to hospital after being hit in the head and the chest.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, interviewed on Sky TG24, expressed disappointment at the scene.

“I have no words,” he said. “We need to set another example, not punches to resolve political problems. It’s not braggadocio, it’s not shouting, it’s ideas that need to be explained well to persuade voters.”

The proposal at the heart of the controversy would give additional regions expanded autonomy in specific functions, a move that the opposition says will further increase the north-south divide in Italy.

Currently, five regions have autonomy, which in part reduces the tax revenue due to the central government in Rome.

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Press Association
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