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Italy minister Lollobrigida claims 'the poor eat better than the rich'

Lollobrigida comments slammed on social media in Italy.

Italian agriculture minister Francesco Lollobrigida has sparked outrage for claiming that in Italy "the poor often eat better than the rich" because they buy high-quality food at low cost directly from the producer.


Lollobrigida made the controversial claim on Thursday at the annual Rimini Meeting while comparing Italy's "interclassist" system to America where he said a major social gap exists between the rich and the poor in terms of the quality of food they eat.


The comments by Lollobrigida - a senior member of the rightwing Fratelli d'Italia party of his sister-in-law Italian premier Giorgia Meloni - have provoked an outcry on social media and from opposition politicians in Italy.


Elly Schlein, leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), said there was "no need for parodies when there is a government like this, a government that lives on another planet."


She added that there are "many Italians" who struggle to afford their groceries, despite the fact that "unfortunately there are some ministers who think that the poor eat better than the rich."


Alessandro Caramiello, head of the parliamentary agriculture committee of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle, said that Lollobrigida had "outdone himself this time", describing his remarks as "a slap in the face to all those people today in serious difficulty."


Lollobrigida, whose full title is minister for agriculture, food sovereignty and forestry, was at the centre of controversy earlier this year for warning against the "ethnic replacement" of Italians amid a rapidly declining birth rate in the country.


In March he unveiled a draft bill banning the production and sale of cultivated food as part of a drive to protect the nation's culinary heritage, while in recent days he posted a video of himself in the kitchen with a blue crab as Italy battles an invasion of the Atlantic crustaceans.
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