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Anti-immigrant party gains in Italy

After its surprisingly strong showing in Italian parliamentary elections last week, the quasi-separatist, anti-immigrant Northern League Party is likely to take over several key posts in Silvio Berlusconi's cabinet including the interior, reforms, and agriculture ministries. The League's control of the Interior Ministry puts Italy's immigration policy is in the hands of a party whose leaders have suggested that the navy fire on rafts carrying illegal immigrants.

Italy's new deputy prime minister is likely to be Roberto Calderoli, a guy who proudly wears T-shirts emblazoned with the Danish Mohammed cartoons, promoted a "pig day" protest in a Muslim neighborhood, and, after the Italian team's World Cup victory, dismissed their French opponents as "negroes, communists and Muslims."

Berlusconi, who mocked his Spanish counterpart for appointing too many women to top posts, may want to watch his words considering the classy fellows in his own cabinet.

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