Eataly bans MP over 'orangutan' slur

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Oscar Farinetti has banned Roberto Calderoli from the Eataly food chain over his racist comments. Photo: Eataly
11:05 CEST+02:00
The founder of Eataly, the food chain and organisation that promotes Italian produce, has banned Northern League MP Roberto Calderoli from its outlets after he called the country's first black minister an "orangutan".

Owner Oscar Farinetti turned the insult back on the right-wing politician on Wednesday by saying Calderoli himself had not evolved from the monkey species.

He is therefore banned from Eataly “for hygienic reasons,” Farinetti said during an interview with Sole 24 Ore's Radio 24.  

The retort came just days after Calderoli described Integration Minister Kyenge as an “orangutan”, which sparked widespread calls for his resignation.

While Calderoli’s remarks were widely criticized as racist, Farinetti said his own use of the word “monkey” was justified because he could “prove it mathematically”.

“He [Calderoli] remains like a monkey because he doesn’t have a conscience and people without a conscience are monkeys," he said.

“Not all monkeys become men, some remain as monkeys. Therefore he should not be in Parliament, he must resign from the human’s post."

Meanwhile, an Italian court has sentenced former Northern League member Dolores Valandro over comments made about Kyenge in June, according to Italian media. 

Councillor Valandro was banned from public office for three years and received a 13-month suspended sentence and €13,000 fine for a Facebook post in which she asked, “Won’t someone rape her?”

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The comment was reportedly a response to an article about an alleged attempted rape by a Somali in Genoa of two Romanian girls, reported on a website called "all immigrant crimes". Kyenge is currently working on overhauling immigration law in Italy.

Legal action is also being taken against Calderoli.

On Tuesday a lawyer filed a defamation case over the politician’s comments; if convicted Calderoli could face up to four-and-a-half years in prison. 

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