From The Local, Italy

“A protest held by refugees against “monotonous” Italian food was “excessive”, especially at a time when thousands of Italians go hungry, the president of a police organization told The Local.”

For two days, a group of about 40 asylum-seekers staying at a refugee centre in the Veneto province of Belluno refused to eat the “pasta with tomato sauce, bread and eggs” meals they were given and called to be fed food from their own countries, Libero Quotidiano reported.

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To reinforce their point, they blocked a street with a wooden bench, put their lunch on the ground along with bags of clothes and threatened to leave the centre in La Secca, a hamlet in Ponte nelle Alpi.

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They reportedly said “we do not eat this stuff”.

The refugees, said to have been staying at the centre for the past four months, also reportedly slashed the tires of cars belonging to staff working there in protest against living conditions.

The protest, which follows similar ones at centres in Pozzallo in Sicily and Rome, was also partly sparked by “boredom”, the newspaper said, as they “do not know what to do with themselves”.

Police soon broke up the protest and the refugees resumed eating, but Antonio De Lieto, the president of Libero Sindicato di Polizia, a non-profit organization that represents staff of the state police force, told The Local that the action was “excessive”.

“There are thousands of Italians living in poverty and who aren’t even eating one meal a day, let alone two or three,” he said.

“They’re not complaining that the food isn’t good, but that it is not the food of their countries. But when you’re hosted in someone’s home, for example, you eat their food, right? It’s like on the many occasions I’ve been hosted in England, I don’t expect to eat spaghetti.”

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