Dutch MEP labelled racist

6th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Chairperson of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has called Dutch Freedom Party MEP Barry Madlener a racist. His comments were made during a debate in Strasbourg about the Polish presidency of the European Union. The Polish took over the rotating six-month presidency on 1 July.

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said he also heard things during the debate that “were close to racism”. He did not name the Dutch MEP by name. Mr Madlener said the Netherlands “does not want to maintain unemployed Poles or Romanian beggers.” Mr Schulz said his language was “inspired by racism”.

Mr Madlener asked the parliamentary speaker Jerzy Buzek to reprimand Mr Schulz, but instead he allowed the debate to continue. Mr Madlener called this a case of double standards. A British MEP was removed from the chamber last November after he interrupted a speech by MEP Schulz with a Nazi slogan.

Mr Madlener strongly denies being a racist, but he does think he should be able to talk about specific issues. 

Mr Madlener pointed out the Mr Schulz is due to succeed Mr Buzek as speaker of the European Parliament. He thinks the German socialist is not suited to the job.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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