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Opposition to hold rally to 'defend national unity'

Opposition to hold rally to 'defend national unity'

Protest also against ruling coalition's 'violence, intimidation'

ROME, 18 June 2024, 09:59

ANSA English Desk



Most of the Italian opposition parties will stage a rally in Rome on Tuesday to "defend national unity" in the face of the government's reforms and protest against alleged "violence and intimidation" by the ruling coalition after an MP for the 5-Star Movement (M5S) needed medical attention following a brawl in the Lower House last week.
    The M5S, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the Green-Left Alliance (AVS) and the More Europe party are holding the rally in Rome's Piazza Santissimi Apostoli and several other organizations are also taking part, including Partisans association ANPI and the CGIL trade union.
    The centrist opposition Italia Viva and Azione parties, however, are not taking part.
    The ugly scenes broke out on Wednesday as the House was examining the government's controversial bill for 'differentiated autonomy', which will enable regions to request more power over how the tax revenues collected in their areas are spent and which critics say will worsen Italy' north-south divide.
    At one stage M5S MP Leonardo Donno tried to hand an Italian flag to Regional Affairs and Autonomy Minister Roberto Calderoli, prompting a number of MPs from the governing coalition to rush over.
    A male MP can be seen attempting to land punches in the footage of the incident.
    Donno ended up on the floor and had to be taken out of the chamber in a wheelchair.
    He subsequently said he was all right following medical tests and accused League MP Igor Iezzi of punching him in the face.
    Iezzi denied this, admitting he had tried to deliver punches but saying he had failed to land a blow.
    Eleven MPs have been suspended over the brawl, with penalties ranging from two to 15 days.
    Iezzi got the longest ban while Donno was suspended too, for four days.


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