May 19 (UPI) — An Italian member of the European Parliament was ordered Thursday to pay 50,000 euros to a black Cabinet minister after he made racist remarks about her during a radio interview.
MEP Mario Borghezio of Italy’s Northern League party, made the remarks in a 2013 interview about Cecile Kyenge, then Italy’s integration minister and the first black person to serve in the nation’s Cabinet.
“Africans are Africans and belong to a very different ethnicity from ours,” Borghezio said. He also said Kyenge, who is an ophthalmologist born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, “took away a job from an Italian doctor” when she emigrated.
An Italian court ordered Borghezio to pay Kyenge 50,000 euros ($56,000), in addition to a 1,000 euro ($1,120) fine.
Afterward, Borghezio, who was suspended by his anti-immigration party for three months in an unrelated racial incident, said he could not afford the fine and would have to sell his house to pay it.