Is Italy's lousy economy fueling racism?

The country's first black minister was called an orangutan and pelted with bananas

Cecile Kyenge
(Image credit: Tony Gentile/Reuters/CORBIS)

Italian politics — from widely suspected corruption to crippling economic failure to former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's bunga-bunga parties — has long been the source of controversy.

But a recent wave of racism, a trend that may well have been sparked by Italy's economic strife and an increase in immigration dating to the late 1970s, is one of the more disturbing developments in memory on Italy's political scene.

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