At a recent meeting of Italian Parliament, representative of Lega Nord (the Northern League) Gianluca Buonanno argued against basic benefits for immigrants (swell) by putting on blackface during the proceedings (sweller). "To get money, perhaps we all need to make ourselves darker," he announced to the Chamber of Deputies after slathering on brown face paint.
Buonanno, by the way, is of the same party that attacked Cecile Kyenge, the country's first black MP, for "favoring negritude."
The Telegraph has video of the proceedings and safe to say, the whole thing is jaw-droppingly stupid and offensive. And if you've spent any significant amount of time in Italy, you probably know that this kind of open racism happens there all of the time.
(My favorite/least favorite quote from an Italian acquaintance: "I'm not racist. I'm just saying that Romanians have thievery and murder in their blood.")
As for Buonanno's larger point that immigrants are a drain on Italy's resources, I offer this quote from Time:
In the eyes of the U.N., E.U. and several human rights organizations, Italy has harsh procedures for immigrants and refugees.
Remember, this is the same country where a senator openly called a black MP an "orangutan" during a press conference and a high court recently overturned the conviction of a 60-year-old child molester because of love. Ah, Italy. You truly are doing a fine job of being, as a commenter aptly put it, the Florida of Europe.