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MEP who appears to give Nazi salute in European Parliament faces sanctions proceedings – POLITICO

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola is preparing to launch a sanctions procedure against Bulgarian MEP Angel Dzhambazki, who gave what appeared to be a Nazi salute as he left the Chamber on Wednesday evening.

Dzhambazki, a nationalist MEP from the ECR group, denies his gesture was a fascist salute, calling the incident a “small misunderstanding” in an email to his colleagues seen by POLITICO. He accused his fellow MEPs of “defamation and defamation”, arguing that his hand sign, which was filmed, was a farewell signal. “I was in the hemicycle to finish my speech during which I admittedly said something that many of you do not agree with, which provoked you. As I left the hemicycle, I wanted to apologize…by humbly waving at the chair.

The scene took place after an intervention by Dzhambazki during a debate on the rule of law in parliament, following Wednesday’s decision by the EU’s highest court to authorize the Commission to cut funds for countries that break EU standards. rule of law. castigating judgment, Dzhambazki said it had “nothing to do with law and the rule of law” but “hatred of nation states”. He accused the EU of trying to “shame” Hungary and Poland, saying: “Long live Orbán, Fidesz, Kaczyński, Bulgaria and our nation-state. Long live Europe, the Europe of the nations”, referred to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Fidesz party, and Jarosław Kaczyński, de facto leader of Poland.

Dzhambazki did not respond to a request for comment.

MEPs from all political stripes reacted with indignation to this gesture. Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, noted the use of a “Hitler salute” is “the opposite of what the European Parliament stands for”.

Metsola has confirmed to POLITICO’s Playbook Brussels that it will initiate sanctions proceedings against Djambazki. “A fascist salute in the European Parliament is unacceptable to me – here and everywhere,” she said. “We defend the opposite. We are the House of Democracy. This gesture is part of the darkest part of the story. Unacceptable.”

Dzhambazki could be sanctioned under Rule 10 of the European Parliament’s Rules of Procedure which deals with the conduct of MEPs and stipulates that the conduct of Members must be “based on the values ​​and principles set out in the Treaties, and in particular in the Charter of Fundamental Rights”. . Members respect the dignity of Parliament and do not harm its reputation.

Italian MEP Sandro Gozi, whom Dzhambazki had targeted in the hemicycle, said: “The mask is slipping. Whenever we discuss democracy and the rule of law, nationalists and the far right remind us of their motto: intolerance and provocation… I am their favorite target and I am proud of it,” he said.

In 2019, Dzhambazki half-heartedly apologized after calling two of his colleagues in parliament “French of Algerian origin” and “German of Turkish origin”.

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