Euro-conservatives expel MEP over Nazi comparison
MEP Daniel Hannan made 'unacceptable' remarks, colleagues said.
Brussels -- Conservatives in the European Parliament (EP) expelled a British colleague who compared a parliamentary decision to the Nazi takeover of Germany, officials confirmedy.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan made "unacceptable remarks ... comparing the interpretation by the EP President of a parliament regulation to the German law of 1933 giving power to the Nazi regime," the EPP-ED conservative alliance said.
The alliance of conservative and Christian Democrat MEPs "considered that such comments harm the reputation of the European Parliament as well as the EPP-ED Group, and they therefore acted accordingly," the group said in a statement.
In January, a group of Euro-sceptic MEPs, including Hannan, launched a campaign within the EP calling for a referendum on the so- called Lisbon Treaty, which changes the EU's internal rules.
As part of their campaign, each MEP in the group demanded the right to make a one-minute speech calling for a referendum after every EP vote, regardless of the subject of the vote.
Such a move was in line with EU rules, but meant that EP business was increasingly delayed. As a result, MEPs amended their rules to allow the president of the EP, Hans-Gert Pottering - himself a German member of the EPP-ED - to block the repeated speeches.
Hannan responded by saying directly to Pottering, "It is only my affection for you ... that prevents me from likening this to the Enabling Act" - a law passed in Germany in 1933 which effectively handed all decision-making power over to Hitler.
"Whatever else MEPs are, they are not Nazis: many of them have proud records of fighting totalitarianism ... That is why it was so disappointing to see them resorting to this appalling measure in order to silence dissent," Hannan wrote on his blog soon afterwards.
But the comment provoked outrage from party colleagues, who called for Hannan's expulsion from the party.
The European Parliament is no stranger to such controversies. On July 2, 2003, then-Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi caused a diplomatic incident by comparing the German head of the EP's socialist group to a concentration-camp guard.
And in November, a newly formed alliance of ultra-nationalist MEPs from Romania, Italy, France and Belgium dissolved itself after its main Italian member made allegedly racist comments about Romanians.
DPA with Expatica