A Bulgarian MEP has denied making a Nazi salute in EU Parliament on Wednesday claiming it was “an innocent wave”.
Angel Dzhambazki, of the Eurosceptic ECR group, made a gesture after speaking in a debate on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary following a ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) that the bloc’s conditionality mechanism over EU funds is lawful.
Nazi salute in EU parliament was ‘an innocent wave’
The instrument would allow the Commission to withhold EU money to member states that are found to be violating the bloc’s core values including rule of law, judicial independence, and press freedom.
The CJEU’s ruling opens the door for the Commission to trigger the mechanism over Hungary and Poland, which a majority of MEPs have been calling for in recent months.
The EU institution’s President, Roberta Metsola, reacted to the incident on Twitter, writing that “a fascist salute in the European parliament is unacceptable to me — always and everywhere.”
“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,” she added.
The European Parliament has launched an internal investigation into possible sanctions against Dzhambazki.
Dzhambazki, of Bulgaria’s nationalist IMRO party, described the ruling as an “abomination” on Twitter and told the parliament in Strasbourg during the debate:
“We will never allow you to tell us what to say and what to do. Long live Bulgaria, Hungary, Orban, Fidesz and the Europe of nation-states.”
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Who is Angel Dzhambazki?
It is not the first controversy that Dzhambazki has faced. But who is Angel Dzhambazki, some say he is a power-hungry politician who will say or do anything in order to be in the spotlight. Others say he is part of the Far-right operating within EU governments. ‘A sheep in wolf clothing’ if you will.
Dzhambazki is used to causing controversy and makes no apologies about it. He once accused the European Parliament of being “devoted to LGBT propaganda”, adding that he rejects “homosexual propaganda, as well as actions close to paedophilia”
In neighbouring Macedonia authorities are used to his fascist-style comments, they officially complained to the Bulgarian Parliament last year after Dzhambazki described Macedonia’s government “as the temporary rulers of our Macedonia” in a campaign video released on his Facebook page.
He also sent a letter to then-North Macedonia Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, in which he stated that “Macedonia is Bulgarian.”
He has even attacked gender equality and feminism, last year he condemned the Istanbul Convention against domestic violence stating it “destroys the Christian family and traditional values, consisting of a man, woman and their children”. He said that “everything else is a perversion and gender propaganda”.