Rome

Kyenge swipes at Northern League push to end her ministry

First black minister again in anti-immigrant sights

Kyenge swipes at Northern League push to end her ministry

Rome, August 8 - Italy's integration minister on Thursday swiped back at the anti-immigrant Northern League's vice president, who called to abolish her ministry. "I ask Matteo Salvini to put the money he would spend on such a referendum at the disposal of my ministry," quipped Cecile Kyenge. Salvini had posted his call to de-fund the "useless" and "costly" ministry on his Facebook page. He and members of his party have been brutal critics of Kyenge, Italy's first black cabinet member, both for her policies to liberalize immigration and her status as a Congolese-born immigrant herself. Northern League members have issued a battery of epithets against her since she was launched into the political spotlight. Among the most sensational was last month when Senator Roberto Calderoli likened her to an orangutan.

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