Education min sent to infirmary (6)

Renzi phones Fedeli after Senate incident

(ANSA) - Rome, June 15 - Education Minister Valeria Fedeli had to be treated at the Senate infirmary after allegedly being pushed into a table and chairs by Northern League (LN) Senators protesting the government's 'ius soli' immigrant children citizenship bill, her Democratic Party (PD) sources said. Fedeli had plasters put on some cuts and was given painkillers, they said.
    She recovered quickly from what she described as a "an attempt at bullying".
    Fedeli said "I'm well, thanks to everyone. Attempts at bullying won't stop a battle for civility like the ius soli".
    PD leader Matteo Renzi, the former premier, telephoned Fedeli to see how she was and voice solidarity with her, PD sources said.
    Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso briefly expelled (LN Senator Raffaele Volpi after the LN advanced towards the government benches bearing placards saying no to the 'ius soli' bill. LN Whip Gianmarco Centinaio was bodily moved after taking a seat next to Fedeli. The LN was protesting a decision to bring forward the 'ius soli' debate.
    Meanwhile outside the chamber members of the far-right CasaPound group clashed with police while demonstrating outside the Senate Thursday against the bill, which if it becomes law would award citizenship to children born to immigrants on Italian soil.
    The so-called 'ius soli' ('law of the soil' in Latin) bill hit the floor of the Senate Thursday where it is expected to be passed despite stiff opposition from the rightwing LN, the small rightwing Brothers of Italy party and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which has said it will abstain amid a new hardline stance against migrants and Roma. CasaPound members tried to break through a police cordon and get to the Senate but were held back with water cannon and also claimed to have been struck with batons. Members of the far right Forza Nuova (New Force, FN) group also staged what they called a "sit-in" outside the Senate on Thursday, making Fascist salutes.
    As a result, some 64 FN members were cited for resisting public officers, instigation to disobeying the law and apology of Fascism.
    Procedures were started to serve a DASP ban on all of them as well as fining them 2,500 euros each for blocking traffic on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.. Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni, a member of the anti-immigrant LN, called the bill "an aberration" and said the region was ready to appeal to the Constitutional Court if it becomes law. Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini said "today it's hard to affirm new rights".
    Currently the children of immigrants must wait until they are 18 to apply for Italian citizenship.
    The ius soli law would grant citizenship to foreign babies born on Italian soil and to children who have spent at least five years in the Italian school system.
    Rightwing and centre-right parties argue that citizenship should only be granted to those who have earned out by integration.
    Leftwing, centre-left and liberal parties say the law is a basic right granted in many other countries.