Milan

Kyenge says she has 'no problem' with Northern League

Defends freedom of opinion

Kyenge says she has 'no problem' with Northern League

Milan, July 11 - Italy's Congo-born Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said on Thursday she had no issues with the strongly anti-immigrant Northern League. ''I have no problem with the (Northern) League,'' Kyenge told journalists in the Lombard city of Bergamo - a Northern League political stronghold. ''Every person has the right to show their own opinion and I respect the opinions of everyone and of each person,'' Kyenge added. Regarding the request of Northern League militants to meet with her, Kyenge said, "I never refuse a meeting with anyone, (but) it must be in an institutional seat and with respect for the undertakings". Kyenge has been subject to a number of vitriolic attacks by Northern League leaders since she became Italy's first black cabinet minister in April. Last month, the second-in-command of the Northern League said Kyenge's push to decriminalize undocumented immigration to Italy has sparked a wave of incoming migrants. Also last month, a Northern League councillor in Padua posted an invitation to ''rape'' the minister on a Facebook page. Mario Borghezio, an Italian member of European Parliament apologised in May for calling Premier Enrico Letta's executive a ''bonga bonga'' government, claiming that Kyenge would seek to ''impose her tribal traditions from the Congo'' on Italy.

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