Torrazza Coste

Maroni calls UN stance on racial slurs 'political'

'It's about our anti-immigration platform'

Maroni calls UN stance on racial slurs 'political'

(see related) Torrazza Coste, July 19 - Northern League leader Roberto Maroni on Friday said the United Nations' rebuke of one of his party colleagues for likening Italy's first black minister to an orangutan was due to the group's stand on immigration policy. "It's not the UN, we know who it is. It's those who continue to criticize me for the fight against illegal immigration," said Maroni, who is also the governor of Lombardy. A UN spokesman said it was "absolutely shocking" that Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli had likened Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge to an orangutan over the weekend. Maroni has refused to pressure Calderoli, a League member, to quit over the comments. His party has rallied around him, chiding critics for what they regard as a lack of a sense of humor. Prosecutors are investigating Calderoli for aggravated defamation and incitement of racial hatred.

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