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ELECTION

Italian candidate puts naked bum on election poster

A candidate for local elections in Bologna has created controversy in Italy after sharing a home-made election poster online which showed a risqué photo of a female model’s naked behind.

Italian candidate puts naked bum on election poster
Mario Turrini, who used a photo of a female backside on his campaign poster, is supporting the candidate from the Northern League, whose leader Matteo Salvini is pictured here at a 2015 rally in Bolog

The picture was posted on Facebook on Monday, by Mario Turrini, a non-party candidate at Bologna’s up-coming local elections on June 5th.

Although Turrini is standing on a non-party list, he is supporting Lucia Borgonzoni, a candidate with Italy’s far right Northern League, in her bid to become city mayor.

The provocative poster was made by Turrini himself and contains a picture of a woman wearing a grey top who is naked from the waist down. To the left of the image there is a message reminding people to cast their vote next month.

“The photo is needed to attract your attention, otherwise you would never have read it,” says a note below the message explaining the choice of photo.

After Turrini shared the photo from his Facebook page, plenty of users accused him of being sexist and inappropriate.

Bologna resident Emily M. Clancey said that she felt the image showed how “strongly patriarchal” Italian society could be. Clancey also pointed out that the poster was especially insensitive given that Turrini is backing a female candidate for the mayor’s office.

She the mocked Turrini for spelling the Italian word for ‘otherwise’ (altrimenti) without an ‘l’ on his poster

In wake of the criticism, Turrini put the poster to his Facebook page alongside an apology saying he “had not meant to offend anyone.”

“If I win I’ll publish a picture of the other side,” he added.

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POLITICS

Italy’s government to continue sending weapons to Ukraine in 2023

Italy's new government issued a decree on Thursday to continue sending weapons to Ukraine through 2023, continuing the previous administration's policy of support to Kyiv.

Italy's government to continue sending weapons to Ukraine in 2023

The decree extends to December 31, 2023 an existing authorisation for “the transfer of military means, materials and equipment to the government authorities of Ukraine,” according to a government statement.

Since taking office in October, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has repeatedly voiced her support for Kyiv while underlying the importance of the Atlantic alliance.

In her first speech to parliament, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party pledged to “continue to be a reliable partner of NATO in supporting Ukraine.”

Her predecessor Mario Draghi was a staunch supporter of Kyiv, but the issue of sending arms to Ukraine split the biggest party in parliament during his coalition government, the Five Star Movement.

That friction led to the early elections that brought Meloni to power.

Parliament now has 60 days to vote the decree into law.

READ ALSO: Outcry in Italy after Berlusconi defends Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Despite Meloni’s efforts to reassure her Western allies of Italy’s support for the EU’s and NATO’s Ukraine strategy, including sanctions on Russia, the close ties to Russia of her two coalition partners have come under scrutiny.

Both Matteo Salvini of the League party and former premier Silvio Berlusconi, who leads Forza Italia, have long enjoyed warm relations with Russia.

In October, an audio tape of Berlusconi was leaked to the media in which the former premier described how he had received a birthday present of vodka from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the tape, he also expressed concerns about sending weapons and cash to Kyiv and appeared to blame the war on Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Berlusconi later issued a statement saying his personal position on Ukraine “does not deviate” from that of Italy and the EU.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Salvini, too, has come under fire for his relations with Moscow, including a report that he dined with Russia’s ambassador to Rome just days after that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Salvini, who has criticised EU sanctions as ineffective, has long admired Putin, even wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the Russian leader’s face.

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