The Italian Almanac

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collapsing senator

Collapsing Senator

Senator Nuccio Cusumano was carried out of the upper house chamber on a stretcher after being verbally assaulted by a fellow member of the Udeur party. Cusumano, whose party has decided to withdraw its support for the government of Premier Romano Prodi, had just said he would support the government in Thursday evening's crucial confidence vote.

Tommaso Barbato, another Udeur Senator, then walked up to Cusumano and began hurling insults at him. Video footage appeared to show that Barbato also spat in his colleague's face. Shortly afterwards Cusumano began to cry and then collapsed, obliging Senate Speaker Franco Marini to suspend the session for ten minutes.

The Udeur MP was attended to by medics and then carried out of the chamber. Barbato later denied having spat at Cusumano although he said he would have done so had it been possible.