Milan

No to migrant 'hysteria' says Gori (5)

Responds to rival Fontanaìs 'white race' warning

No to migrant 'hysteria' says Gori (5)

Milan, January 15 - Centre-left Lombardy governor candidate Giorgio Gori responded to his centre-right rival Attilio Fontana's warning that migrants pose a threat to "the white race" by saying the campaign for the March 4 elections could do without "hysteria and demagoguery". "Election campaign: there are those who talk of pitchforks and white race. We talk about training, jobs, growth, and Europe", Bergamo Mayor Gori said on Facebook. Gori launched an appeal to Lombardy voters, saying "you choose: we must #DoBetter, without hysteria and demagoguery". Gori later described Fontana as being a more moderate-looking version of the League's firebrand leader Matteo Salvini. "Fontana is Salvini in a jacket and tie," said Gori. "I think that Fontana, who is presented as a moderate candidate of the League, in fact has shown his true colours, a Salvini in jacket and tie, or rather more a (Mario) Borghezio than Salvini. Borghezio, a League MEP, has been in legal trouble for anti-immigrant acts on several occasions. Last May he was ordered to pay Congo-born former Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge - Italy's first black minister - 50,000 euros in compensation for a racist slur. Borghezio, interviewed on April 29, 2013 after Kyenge's appointment, reportedly said among other things that "Africans are Africans and belong to an ethnic group very different from ours". He also complained that Kyenge, who was educated in Italy to become an ophthalmologist, had taken away a health post that he said should have been given to "some Italian doctor". In another remark that was not covered by the verdict, Borghezio claimed Kyenge would impose her "tribal traditions" from the Congo on Italy. "This is a bonga bonga government, they want to change birthright citizenship laws and Kyenge wants to impose her tribal traditions from the Congo," said Borghezio. In November 2013 Northern League Senator and former minister Roberto Calderoli was charged with defamation aggravated by racial discrimination after he compared Kyenge to an orangutan. Earlier in 2013 Northern League Padua Councillor Dolores Valandro posted on Facebook that someone should rape Kyenge "so she knows what it feels like" in response to a report of an Italian woman who was allegedly raped by an African man. Borghezio has a track record of anti-immigrant acts. In 2000 he was lampooned on TV for his efforts to clean up, with dusters and spray, trains allegedly used by foreign prostitutes and immigrants. Lombardy and Lazio are going to the polls to elect new regional governments on March 4, the same day as the general election.

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