‘Nazi salute’ shakes up EU parliament — Analysis

A nationalist MEP from Bulgaria was accused of performing the Nazi salute inside the EU parliament’s debate chamber in Strasbourg, France on Wednesday, after delivering a rebuke to the recent decision by the EU’s top court to allow the cutting of funds to Poland and Hungary. The incident, he claimed was an accident. “misunderstanding.”

As he was leaving the chamber, Angel Dzhambazki from his country’s VMRO party briefly stopped, turned, faced the speaker’s podium and extended his right arm in a manner similar to a Nazi salute.

Roberta Metsola (President of European Parliament) slammed this gesture via Twitter. “It offends me and everyone else in Europe,”Sie wrote. “That gesture is from the darkest chapter of our history and must be left there.”

France’s European affairs minister, Clement Beaune, called Dzhambazki’s behavior “scandalous and outrageous.” 

MEPs were reacting on Wednesday to the European Court of Justice’s decision that Brussels has the right to cut money to Hungary and Poland. EU accuses the EU of ignoring the rule of law in their home countries. 

Dzhambazki dismissed it in his floor speech, and then later online through comments. “an abomination.” 

“There is no sane person who thinks that Hungary and Poland have no functioning rule of law,”The tweet was sent by the Bulgarian MEP. “Instead you use it as a whip against the nation states you despise. Long live the nation states of Europe!”

Later, Dzhambazki told Euronews that the outcry had been addressed “a simple case of gross misunderstanding.”

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According to the outlet, Dzhambazki wrote a letter to his fellow MEPs explaining how he wanted to personally apologize for using language in his floor speech. “humbly waving to the chair.”

“Imagine my surprise when as a consequence of this wave I was accused of doing a Nazi salute,”He wrote. “I apologize if my innocent wave… has insulted anyone.”

In 2015, the European Parliament fined Janusz Korwin-Mikke of Poland and Gianluca Buonanno of Italy €3,060 ($3,470) each and suspended them for 10 days for performing Nazi salutes inside the chamber on separate occasions. Both politicians accused the EU’s decision-making body of meddling in member states’ affairs. 

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