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Sicilian councillor says 'whore' comment refers to past MPs

Battiato apologizes for any offense to current parliamentarians

Sicilian councillor says 'whore' comment refers to past MPs

Rome, March 26 - Sicilian singer-songwriter and regional councillor for tourism Franco Battiato apologized on Tuesday for comments he made about Italy's parliament being full of "whores", saying that he was not referring to current MPs. Earlier on Tuesday the Battiato told the European Parliament that some Italian MPs would be prepared to "do anything" and that it would be better "if they opened a brothel", causing outrage among many Italian MPs. "I find it hard to believe that a man of culture such as Battiato, who is also currently involved in governing the important region of Sicily, would have pronounced such vulgar words," House Speaker Laura Boldrini said. Battiato responded, saying that "my comment that was interpreted as an insult was not referring to the present MPs, whom I esteem, or to women, or the European Parliament". "It was clear that the reference was to past administrations that every Italian with good sense wishes they could forget...characterized by political dishonesty, contempt for women and for the public good". "I am sorry that after an hour and a half of explaining what we are doing to give Sicily back its dignity and hope that the one single phrase which was obviously not referring to the present was what came out (of the conference)," Battiato said.

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