Populist Italian Senator Matteo Salvini was the victim of a physical attack, reportedly by a politically left-wing migrant during a campaign event ahead of the regional elections in the traditional leftist stronghold of Tuscany.
The attack took place in the commune of Pontassieve on Wednesday, with the woman tearing at the League leader’s shirt and his rosary.
Guglielmo Picchi, former deputy minister of foreign affairs, labelled the attacker as an Antifa militant. He said: “Salvini was attacked in Pontassieve by a mobster anti-fascist militant who ripped at his shirt and rosary. The true Democrat [Party].”
According to a report from newspaper Il Giornale, the attacker is a 30-year-old migrant from the Congo. Witnesses added that she is employed by the local government and was on her way back from work when she attacked Salvini.
Salvini commented on the attack later in the day, saying: “I can buy a new shirt. But the rosary ripped violently from my neck — that had been given to me by a parish priest — unfortunately not.”
Salvini-Backed Candidate Leads in Leftist Stronghold Ahead of Election https://t.co/G8UdzEaM67
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 4, 2020
“To this anger, I answer with a smile and with my work. Long live the Italy of women and men who believe in freedom, serenity, and work,” he said. He added that he felt sad for the woman who attacked him, rather than angry.
When asked what he thought would be the result of the seven upcoming regional elections this month, Salvini said: “Is 7-0 for regionals an exaggeration? No, I feel like there’s a desire for change.”
Salvini’s centre-right coalition candidates are ahead in many regions in recent polls, including some that have been leftist strongholds for decades.
The former interior minister, who led a campaign against mass migration and migrant transport NGOs, has been the target of threats from Antifa militants for years, including death threats.
Death Threat: Salvini Blames Left After Receiving Bullet in Envelope https://t.co/XyZl4hHibG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 13, 2019