Opposition leader hospitalised after brawl in Italian Parliament

A debate on funding new youth centres turned violent in Italian Parliament.

Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 16:00 PM IST

Rome: An opposition politician was admitted to hospital here after a heated debate on funding new youth centres turned violent in the lower house of the Italian Parliament.

Italy of Values leader Franco Barbato was left with a bruised and bloody eye on Wednesday, allegedly after being punched in the face.

"My right eye was hurt. I was struck from behind and so I don`t know who injured me. I was surrounded by MPs, who the ushers tried unsuccessfully to hold back," said Barbato.

During the brawl, a member of the ruling conservative People of Freedom party, Maurizio Bianconi, was reportedly heard screaming at Barbato: "You piece of sh*t".

The brawl broke out as members were debating Youth Minister Giorgia Meloni`s bill, and Barbato, accused her of pushing the bill to advance her own political agenda.

"This is a very serious incident. I am referring it to the speaker`s office and to the whips," said acting speaker, Rosy Bindi, who suspended the parliamentary session.