Economy

Balotelli Blasts Nigerian-Born Tony Iwobi, Italy's Far-Right, First Black Senator

Balotelli Blasts Nigerian-Born Tony Iwobi, Italy's Far-Right, First Black Senator

A 62-year-old Nigerian, Tony Iwobi, has been elected the first black senator in the history of Italy.

The slogan is reference to the more than 690,000 migrants who have landed on Italian shores from North Africa since 2013.

He also posted a photo depicting Mr Iwobi and leader of the League party, Matteo Salvini, both donning t-shirts emblazoned with the campaign slogan "Stop Invasion".

Northern League MEP Mario Borghezio was ordered to pay Congo-born former Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge - Italy's first black minister - 50,000 euros in compensation for a racist slur a year ago.

He helped write the League's anti-migration platform, in which it proposed among other things, to make it easier to deport migrants; to use economic incentives to get countries to agree to repatriate their nationals from Italy; and to refuse to take in migrants rescued by NGOs from the Mediterranean.

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"I'm not interested in what Balotelli thinks", the new senator said in response to the fiery post, adding that he'd prefer to ignore his critic.

Before running for the Senate, he represented the League as a municipal councillor in Spirano back in the 1990s, and more recently headed Salvini's national committee on immigration. He is, however, opposed to those who seek to stay in Italy illegally.

Several League members have been involved in racism storms in the past.

The League blames the arrivals for "social conflict" and making Italian cities less safe as the country battles with rising wave of nationalism. Iwobi, now a Bergamo resident, has been in Matteo Salvini's party for more than 20 years.

Italy's general election on Sunday resulted in a hung parliament in which no single party or coalition commands an overall majority. Political horse-trading is underway as parties bid to form a working coalition government.