British Euro MP booted from parliament in 'fascist' spat
A British Euro MP was booted from the European Parliament on Wednesday after calling a German colleague an "undemocratic fascist."
The verbal dust-up between Godfrey Bloom, member of the UK Independence Party, and Germany's Martin Schulz, leader of the assembly's Socialist bloc, caused a stir in the middle of a debate on Europe's economic crisis.
As Schulz was asked to wrap up a statement, Bloom interjected.
"He just said 'ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer,' that's what I just heard," Schulz told the 736-member parliament in Strasbourg, saying Bloom had uttered the Nazi motto "One People, One Empire, One Leader."
Parliament president Jerzy Buzek demanded that Bloom apologise, but the eurosceptic British lawmaker was unrepentant.
"The views expressed by 'Herr' Schulz make the case. He is an undemocratic fascist," Bloom told the chamber, prompting Buzek to throw him out of the parliamentary session.
Buzek said: "As you know, most of the members of the chamber cannot accept your behaviour. I will therefore ask you to leave the chamber at this point."
The heads of five political groups -- including the biggest group in parliament, the conservative European People's Party -- urged Buzek to impose "a severe sanction" on Bloom.
"We can never accept that members of the European Parliament insult their colleagues in a way that recalls the worst hours of our history," the political leaders said in a statement.
The UK Independence Party is no stranger to controversy. In February, the party's leader Nigel Farage said EU President Herman Van Rompuy had "the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk."
For his part, Schulz was hit once before with a Nazi smear in 2003 when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he would be the "perfect" fit for the "role of a kapo" in a film. Kapos were Jews in charge of policing fellow prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
© 2010 AFP