ROME (AP) — Italy's equal opportunities minister, a German-born, eight-time Olympic kayaker, has resigned over tax troubles in a case with both racist and sexist overtones.
A statement from Premier Enrico Letta's office said Josefa Idem handed in her resignation on Monday, which was accepted. Idem was embroiled in controversy after admitting to irregularities in the tax payments on one of her residences.
The anti-immigrant Northern League party had led the charge against Idem, with one party official, Mario Borghezio, calling her a "whore." Another local Northern League official recently suggested that another immigrant Cabinet member, Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge, be raped — an indication of the level of political discourse in Italy these days.