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Italy's gay sex club scandal

A top discrimination official has resigned after accusations that government funds meant to promote diversity projects and tackle racism had been earmarked for gay sex clubs masquerading as cultural c

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Italy's gay sex club scandal

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Point of view

"The question immediately took a political turn"

Lilia Rotoloni Italian Language Service, Euronews

The head of Italy’s anti-discrimination office has resigned.

It comes in the wake of accusations that government funds meant to promote diversity projects and tackle racism had been earmarked for gay sex clubs masquerading as cultural centres.



“The Hyenas”



Francesco Spano quit just hours after an investigative TV programme showed his department had authorised funding of up to 55,000 euros each for at least three such clubs.

The TV show, called “The Hyenas”, visited the three businesses and found they housed male prostitutes and offered their members so-called “dark rooms” for sexual encounters.



What was the reaction?



Opposition parties called on the government to explain its funding programme.

Centre-right leader Giorgia Meloni said the anti-discrimination office (UNAR) should be shut immediately.

“Not one more euro of tax payers’ money should be thrown away on paying their salaries,” Meloni wrote on the Facebook page.



What has the government said?



The government said in a statement that, while UNAR will stay open, Spano had resigned “out of respect” for the work his office was carrying out.





Euronews – All Views: what the Italians think



“The question immediately took a political turn,” says Lilia Rotoloni from the Euronews Italian Language Service.

“The centre-right opposition presented questions to parliament about the use of public funds by this public body, which is directly financed by the Palazzo Chigi, ie the government.”

“The country’s biggest consumer organisation (Codacons) has submitted a complaint to the prosecutor’s office and to the Court of Auditors.”

“At the moment, the public do not seem to be asking for the money to be refunded.”

“The question is whether this public body should remain in place or not.”