Italian Deputies Fight In Parliament

10/27/2011 10:03 am ET | Updated Dec 27, 2011

It was a somewhat bizarre scene in Italy's parliament on Wednesday. Several of the country's deputies got into a heated fist fight during debates on pension reforms, with one deputy even grabbing another by the throat.

Tension rose the night before between members of Italy's ruling central right coalition Lega Nord (North League) and members of Gianfranco Fini's opposition party FLI, when Fini mockingly stated on Italian television that the North League's leader Umberto Bossi's wife retired at the age of 39.

Pressured by European leaders and institutions to address the country's financial woes, Prime Minister Berlusconi recently introduced a series of legislation that would reform Italy's costly pension system. According to Reuters, Bossi came out as a staunch opponent of such reforms.

On Wednesday, a new argument over Finli's comments apparently led to the fight between Fabio Ranieri of the North League and a member of the FLI, prompting both deputies to grab each other by the throat. Their colleagues were forced to intervene, and parliament's session was temporarily adjourned.