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Nazi Salute Sparks Uproar in European Parliament

Nazi salute European parliament
The Bulgarian nationalist MEP gives what appears to be a Nazi salute in the European Parliament. Credit: Video screenshot/Euronews

A Bulgarian nationalist MEP gave a Nazi salute in the chamber of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, after he spoke during a debate on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary.

Angel Dzhambazki of the Bulgarian nationalist VMRO party is seen extending his right arm in front of him before exiting the chamber in a video of the debate. VMRO is in the euroskeptic European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.

“We will never allow you to tell us what to say and do. Long live Orban and Fidesz, long live Kaczynski and PiS, long live Bulgaria and our nation-state,” Dzhambazki said during the debate.

“Long live the Europe of nations,” he concluded. After the incident, he denied he made the Nazi salute saying in a statement that he was waving an apology for something provocative he had said during the debate.

European Parliament may sanction MEP for Nazi salute

The vice-president of the European Parliament, Italy’s Pina Picierno, said the institution would “check with the cameras what happened in this hemicycle, to see if there was a fascist salute or not.”

“We do not in any way allow fascist gestures and symbols. If this has been done, it is extremely serious and sanctions will be taken,” she warned.

In a tweet published after the debate, Picierno decried the salute, saying “in the session I presided over this evening, Bulgarian MEP Dzhambazki gave the Roman salute. I immediately condemned the incident and asked for this shameful and unacceptable gesture to be sanctioned.”

“The European Parliament is a living monument of democracy against barbarism and fascism,” she added.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola is preparing to launch proceedings to sanction Djambazki for violating a rule that MEPs must conduct themselves “based on the values and principles laid down in the Treaties, and particularly in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Members shall respect Parliament’s dignity and shall not harm its reputation.”

“A fascist salute in the European Parliament is unacceptable to me – always and everywhere,” Metsola tweeted. “It offends me and everyone else in Europe. We stand for the opposite. We are the House of democracy. That gesture is from the darkest chapter of our history and must be left there.”

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