Rome

Kyenge to snub League event after racist abuse

Italy's first black minister remains 'open to dialogue'

Kyenge to snub League event after racist abuse

Rome, August 1 - Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, Italy's first black cabinet member, on Thursday announced she will not go to a Northern League event that she had been invited to this weekend after being hit by racist abuse by a number of the party's members. 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. Last month Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli, a League member, compared Kyenge to an orangutan. Kyenge said she was snubbing the event after League party and Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni failed to "stigmatize" the repeated attacks she has suffered. However, the Congolese-born minister said in a statement that she "remained opened to dialogue and debate, as long as the proper conditions exist for this".

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