(ANSA) - Rome, February 10 - Right-wing daily newspaper Libero was accused of misogyny on Friday for running the headline "Patata Bollente" (hot potato) next to a photo of under-fire Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi.
Patata is also a colloquial Italian term for the female genitals. "I don't know if it's sexism or simply idiocy," said Luigi Di Maio, a senior member of Raggi's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the Deputy Lower House Speaker. "In any case, it disgusts me. My solidarity to Virginia Raggi. The press has gone beyond all limits". Raggi also won support from House Speaker Laura Boldrini, who described the headline as "sexist vulgarity".
"This is a trash journalism," Boldrini said via Twitter. Members of Premier Paolo Gentiloni's centre-left Democratic Party blasted Libero too. "The vile, misogynous, sexist attack on Virginia Raggi disgusts me and she has all my solidarity," said the PD's Michela Di Biase.
Senate Speaker Pietro Grasso called on Libero editor Vittorio Feltri to apologise for for running the headline.
"Free (Libero) yes, but not to vulgarly insult (someone) with obscene allusions," Grasso said via Twitter. "Vittorio Feltri apologise to Virginia Raggi".