Polish MEP fined for racist remark
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, an ultra-right legislator at the European Parliament from Poland, has been fined EUR 3 040 for making a racist statement during a plenary discussion. The MEP from the Congress of the New Right (KNP) party called unemployed young Europeans the "niggers of Europe" during a discussion at the EP this July on youth unemployment.
The statement, made two months after right-wing parties made significant gains during the EP elections this May, prompting concerns that xenophobia is spreading, sparked general outrage. EP chair Martin Schulz told his fellow MEPs that he had offered Korwin-Mikke the opportunity to "correct" his statement or apologize for it.
"He refused and insisted on his position," Schulz said. "I then made the decision to fine Mr Korwin-Mikke 10 per diems, which he will be docked."
The per diem for MEPs is EUR 304. "Legislators at the European Parliament in particular must avoid making statements that are discriminatory or that insult human dignity," Schulz said.
"Our Parliament includes various religions, various races, various political convictions, representatives of various cultures and nations," the chair said in a speech during the plenary session on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the start of WWII. "Peace, tolerance, and respect are only effective when they are not just written on paper, but when they apply day in and day out. The great strength of this Parliament lies in the fact that this is precisely what we do."
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