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Maroni confirms Kyenge's invitation to Northern League rally

30/07/2013

Party head says not against minister, but wrong ideas

Maroni confirms Kyenge's invitation to Northern League rally

(see related stories) Milan, July 30 - The national chief of the anti-immigrant Northern League party and Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni said that he would call Italy's Congolese-born integration minister to confirm her attendance at a national rally next month. "I hope she (Cecile Kyenge) comes. I will call her to explain the League's position and confirm her invitation (to the rally)," Maroni said. Since her appointment in April, the Congolese-born minister has been the victim of repeated outbursts of racism, especially by League members. On Monday two Northern League councillors and an ex-Northern League councillor left a council meeting in a town near Lake Como in protest over Kyenge's presence. "Maroni must immediately call on militants to stop attacking me now. If he doesn't, I will be forced to decline the invitation to the Northern League festival," said Kyenge. She is scheduled to debate Veneto's Northern League governor, Luca Zaia, at an event on the northeastern Italian coast. "The League never questions anyone on personally, we fight against wrong ideas," Maroni said. The league is hotly contesting a proposal know as 'ius soli' backed by Kyenge for children born in Italy to immigrant parents to be given automatic citizenship. "Ius soli is just wrong," Maroni said. Italy's first black cabinet minister called continued attacks by militants of the League "intolerable" and demanded Maroni do something to put an end to them.