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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italian MPs Brawl

ROME () -- Government and opposition deputies brawled in Italy's Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, forcing suspension of a stormy session debating a government decree for emergency funding and major restructuring plans for RAI, Italy's hugely indebted public broadcaster, witnesses said.

Italian television showed scenes of pandemonium in the assembly as deputies from the government benches, many of them from the far right National Alliance movement, left their seats and stormed towards their opposition rivals.

The mayhem erupted when a deputy for the opposition leftist Progressives group accused the parties in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition of corrupt interference in the RAI affairs. The opposition has accused the coalition, whose leader Berlusconi owns three private television channels in direct competition, of attempting to carve up RAI's three channels between its members.