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MP expelled for waving fish during immigration debate

'Thought decriminalization was an April Fool's prank'

01 April, 18:28
MP expelled for waving fish during immigration debate (ANSA) - Rome, April 1 - An MP from the anti-immigrant Northern League was expelled from the Lower House for waving a fresh fish around during debate on immigration reform.

Gianluca Buonanno produced the fish, a sea bass, to protest decriminalizing undocumented immigration. His party co-sponsored the law making illegal immigration a crime during the previous administration of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

"When I heard the debate I thought it was an April Fool's prank, but no. Let's give the sea bass to our poor, our pensioners," he said. He was called to order and ultimately expelled by Deputy House Speaker Luigi Di Maio, who is from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

In Italy, France, Belgium, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, the April 1 tradition is often known as "April fish". Pranks include trying to attach a paper fish to the victim's back without being noticed.

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