Lawmakers Engage in Physical Altercation During Italian Parliament Debate

A video has captured a violent altercation that broke out in the Italian Parliament, reportedly leaving one lawmaker requiring a wheelchair.

The incident occurred on Wednesday during a vote on a contentious government bill aimed at providing more autonomy to Italy’s regions, according to Politico. The altercation allegedly began when Leonardo Donno, a member of the Five Star Movement party, opposing the reform, thrust an Italian flag into the face of Roberto Calderoli, the Minister for Regional Affairs and Autonomies.

Footage then shows two parliamentary clerks in the Chamber of Deputies attempting to separate the pair before other lawmakers joined the commotion, with one striking Donno with punches.

“Among the various kicks, I also received a very strong punch to the sternum and I collapsed because I couldn’t breathe,” Donno was quoted by Politico as telling local media.

He was subsequently removed from the scene in a wheelchair, Reuters reports.

Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani later expressed his disapproval of the brawl, stating to Sky TG24 that “I have no words.”

“We need to set another example, not punches to resolve political differences,” he said. “It’s not braggadocio, it’s not shouting, it’s ideas that need to be explained well to persuade voters.”

Debate on the bill is now reportedly scheduled to continue on Thursday.