Italy minister resigns over tax troubles

Italy's equal opportunity and sports minister Josefa Idem attends a press conference at Chigi palace, Premier's office, in Rome, Saturday, June 22, 2013. Idem Ihas apologized for irregularities in the construction of her private residence, but said she would not resign as a result. Josefa Idem said Saturday any irregularities were oversights that she would remedy. Idem said she was not infallible "but I am an honest person and I won't allow anyone to doubt that. " The Olympic canoe racer said she had entrusted professionals with details of the construction and proper registration of the residence and gym she owns in Ravenna. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Italy's equal opportunity and sports minister Josefa Idem attends a press conference at Chigi palace, Premier's office, in Rome, Saturday, June 22, 2013. Idem Ihas apologized for irregularities in the construction of her private residence, but said she would not resign as a result. Josefa Idem said Saturday any irregularities were oversights that she would remedy. Idem said she was not infallible "but I am an honest person and I won't allow anyone to doubt that. " The Olympic canoe racer said she had entrusted professionals with details of the construction and proper registration of the residence and gym she owns in Ravenna. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

ROME (AP) — Italy’s equal opportunities minister, a German-born, eight-time Olympic kayaker, has resigned over tax troubles in a case with both racist and sexist overtones.

A statement from Premier Enrico Letta’s office said Josefa Idem handed in her resignation on Monday, which was accepted.

Idem was embroiled in controversy after admitting to irregularities in the tax payments on one of her residences.

The anti-immigrant Northern League party had led the charge against Idem, with one party official, Mario Borghezio, calling her a “whore.”

Another local Northern League official recently suggested that another immigrant Cabinet member, Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge, be raped — an indication of the level of political discourse in Italy these days.

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