HomeNewsEuropeBulgarian MEP could be sanctioned over Nazi salute in EU parliament

Bulgarian MEP could be sanctioned over Nazi salute in EU parliament

A Bulgarian MEP could be sanctioned after making what appears to be the Nazi salute in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Angel Dzhambazki, of the Eurosceptic ECR group, made the gesture after speaking in a debate on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary following a ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) that the bloc’s conditionality mechanism over EU funds is lawful.

The instrument would allow the Commission to withhold EU money to member states that are found to be violating the bloc’s core values including rule of law, judicial independence, and press freedom. The CJEU’s ruling opens the door for the Commission to trigger the mechanism over Hungary and Poland, which a majority of MEPs have been calling for in recent months.

Dzhambazki, of Bulgaria’s nationalist VMRO party, described the ruling as an “abomination” on Twitter and told the parliament in Strasbourg during the debate: “We will never allow you to tell us what to say and what to do. Long live Bulgaria, Hungary, Orban, Fidesz and the Europe of nation-states.”

The EU institution’s President, Roberta Metsola, reacted on Twitter, writing that “a fascist salute in the European parliament is unacceptable to me — always and everywhere.”

“It offends me and everyone else in Europe. We stand for the opposite. We are the House of democracy.

“That gesture is from the darkest chapter of our history and must be left there,” she added.

The vice-president of the European Parliament, Pina Picierno of Italy, who was leading the debate at the time, said she “condemned what had happened and asked for this ignoble and unacceptable gesture to be sanctioned.”

The European Parliament’s rules of procedure state that MEPs “shall refrain from any inappropriate behaviour” and “any offensive remarks”. Failure to comply with these rules can result in sanctions such as loss of participation in parliamentary activities or loss of allowances.

The centrist Renew Europe group also took to Twitter to “condemn this appalling insult to the victims of fascism, in the house of European Democracy.”

“We call on Mrs Metsola, EU Parliament President, to act,” they added.

The centre-left Socialists & Democrats group wrote that “fascist symbols are unacceptable in this House because this is the home of EU citizens, but it’s also a living monument that represents the victory of Europeans against the barbarism of Nazi fascism.”

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