Incident in the EU Parliament: On video material, it looks as if a member of parliament was showing the Hitler salute. He himself denies the allegations. Colleagues now deeply condemn the gesture.
With a gesture that was widely understood as a Hitler salute, a right-wing Bulgarian MEP caused outrage in the EU Parliament. “A Hitler salute in the EU Parliament is completely unacceptable for me – anytime and anywhere,” said a statement by Parliament President Roberta Metsola, which was read in plenary on Thursday morning.
On a video of the incident on Wednesday, MP Angel Dzhambazki can be seen turning towards the seats as he leaves the lectern and raising his outstretched right arm. A spokesman for Metsola said sanctions proceedings would be initiated immediately.
Dzhambazki: “Innocent Wave”
Dzhambazki himself denies that it was a Hitler salute. In a letter to the MPs, which was available to the dpa, he described the gesture as an “innocent wave” with which he wanted to apologize for provocative statements in his speech. He was shocked by the allegations, which he described as defamation.
The leaders of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, of which Dzhambazki is a member, said they were taking the incident very seriously. “We are conducting internal investigations.” We are waiting for the decision of the EU Parliament and will then decide for ourselves on an appropriate reaction.
Scene during verdict debate
The scene happened during a debate on the European Court of Justice’s ruling on the so-called rule of law mechanism, which allows EU member states to cut funding if rule of law problems threaten abuse. Dzhambazki said in the debate that the matter is not at all about law, but about the hatred of many in the EU Parliament against states and nations. He will never allow “they to tell us how to act and what we are allowed to say”. Shortly thereafter, he made the gesture.
The leader of the Christian Democrats in the EU Parliament, Manfred Weber, wrote on Twitter that his group condemned the incident and called for immediate punishment. “It’s the opposite of what the European Parliament stands for.” According to the rules of procedure of the EU Parliament, sanctions can include a reprimand, a temporary loss of daily allowance or a temporary suspension from parliamentary activities.