Neo-Nazi parties say the EU is evil while drawing money from it - some MEPs want to change that
Czech Radio reports that a group of MEPs is saying that neo-Nazi, ultra-right parties will probably lose millions in EU money soon. If the parties actually do not receive the funding, it will be the first time the European Parliament (EP) has ever rejected a grant for a party represented in the legislature.
The EP does not want to make regular payments to the European party calling itself the "Alliance for Peace and Freedom", whose members include the Workers' Social Justice Party (Czech Republic), Golden Dawn (Greece), and Kotleba-LSNS (Slovakia). According to the MEPs involved, those parties are not entitled to funding because they are undemocratic.
"They hold opinions that violate the basic principles of the European Union. They can call themselves whatever they want, but in my opinion this is odious. I don't see any reason why the European Parliament and European taxpayers should give them money," Hungarian MEP György Schöpflin (Fidesz) argued to Czech Radio.
Schöpflin has assessed whether the "Alliance for Peace and Freedom" should receive another grant from the EP. "Basically, they assert that democracy as we know it is not a good idea because it gives a voice to people whom they believe should not have one. They also say there are people in Europe who don't belong here. The third thing is that they are in love with Russia," the MEP said.
If the "Alliance for Peace and Freedom" grant is not awarded, that would impact several MEPs, specifically, three representatives of Golden Dawn and a member of the National Democratic Party of Germany, Udo Voigt. "It can be the case that some party is against European human rights, or European values, but the Alliance for Peace and Freedom is not. Just the opposite. We recently visited Syria. Nobody can say we advocate racist policies. I don't understand this. We will decidedly defend ourselves in court," the right-wing extremist MEP Voigt told Czech Radio.
The MEPs who want to halt the funding have given concrete examples of its abuse in their arguments. At a conference of the Alliance that was held last year in Stockholm, for example, members allegedly openly sang antisemitic songs.
"That was a theater performance in which a famous Swedish artist was performing satire. It was against homosexuals, not Jews. The Alliance did not directly undertake that. Moreover, satire must remain satire," Voigt is quoted by Czech Radio as saying.
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