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UK eurosceptic sparks uproar with Nazi jibe

The Local · 2 Feb 2012, 10:16

Published: 02 Feb 2012 10:16 GMT+01:00

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The move by parliament president Martin Schulz prompted Nigel Farage to storm out of the Brussels chamber on Wednesday.

Farage, who heads the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) likened Germany’s proposal for EU control of Greece’s public spending to placing it under control of a "Gauleiter" – a Nazi administrator in charge of a region during the Third Reich.

His microphone was eventually turned off by Schulz, a German Social Democrat, at which point Farage "had no option but to walk out of the chamber in disgust," his spokesman said in a statement.

The comment provoked uproar, especially among German MEPs, with Green Party representative Reinhard Bütikofer accusing the UKIP leader of spreading, "hatred in the European Parliament" and "hatred between European peoples."

Farage later said he was only repeating a word being used in the British media.

Right-winger Farage told the room, "we have German newspapers slagging off the Greeks for being lazy and useless, slagging off the Italians for being cowards and we have Italian and Greek newspapers depicting leading figures in Germany wearing Nazi uniforms."

He then said he thought their plan "must have been a joke."

Farage criticised a German proposal for EU control of Greek public spending that was shot down at an EU summit over the weekend. He told the room that Athens was already "practically an EU colony," and that their proposal was "a huge mistake."

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The UKIP party does not support Britain being a member of the European Union, and if newly appointed president Schulz decides to take punitive action against Farage, he could face a fine.

"Schulz is not entitled to comment on the content of a speech made by an MEP," said Farage who has lodged a formal complaint against Schulz.

AFP/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:41 February 2, 2012 by Gretl
The proposal was ridiculous, and if it took someone to come out and say what everyone was thinking, so be it.

Having the Germans call the shots in a weak federal - strong state form of Government (akin to the US Confederacy) is going to make everyone nervous. Better to institutionalize a strong central Government and limit the influence of member states, or forget the whole thing.
11:55 February 2, 2012 by freechoice
When people starts to call one another names, you know they are getting personal instead of discussing real solutions for problems!
12:06 February 2, 2012 by Eastard
Germany began this whole euro issue by not wanting to have one government direct another.... Remember the negative press Merkel got over not simply bailing Greece our as in the many years of past...She suggested the IMF get involved because the Greeks had a reputation (like it or not) of not addressing this problem of their growing nation debt... She was right... Now there are calls (from those funding this effort to keep them afloat) for stronger oversight... ie to enforce what they commit to.. This has noting to do with Nazi's... period. Germany does not want to do this but is correct in saying someone will have to... The Greeks do not seem to have the cultural fortitude to correct their own problem... The world wishes they did... Most likely we will witness a transition of European financial policy to plan for their failure.... Greece is likely to become to poster child example of what happens when a country fails... Hope not but don't see otherwise...
13:32 February 2, 2012 by LancashireLad
The point of the article is not the German proposal but Nigel Farage's comments and the resulting actions by Schulz. Farage was indeed out of order to make the comparison and it is obvious it was meant to be inflammatory - would he have said the same had it been a french proposal? I think not. However, Schulz' action was also not correct as nobody should have the power to silence people he/she does not agree with. Dispicable though Farage's comment was, he should have been allowed to continue and make himself even more unpopular. Schulz action has actually given more publicity to what Farage said.
13:50 February 2, 2012 by ChrisRea
Did anybody expect something else from somebody who opposes EU? Trying to turn people against each other is what they are doing in order to follow their goal. In this case, we see Godwin's law at work (and we get an additional hint about the credibility of Mr. Farage).
14:49 February 2, 2012 by McM
Oh dear oh dear oh dear ! Where will it all end?

Don't you just love EU politics. Always good for a laugh.
14:52 February 2, 2012 by michael4096
@LancashireLad - I don't totally agree. Few parlimentary chambers permit someone to hurl personal abuse and denying the right to continue speaking is quite a mild reaction. The call as to whether or not it was abusive was Schulz's call to make - as president.

Farage & co give democracy a bad name. The EP is far from perfect, but I'm old fashioned enough to believe that people making their living from something should work on making things better, not worse.
15:56 February 2, 2012 by derExDeutsche
Yes. The Word, the word, the word. Not the substance of what was said. Just the word. and Good reply argument, Herr German Social Democrat. Just turn off the microphone. That will end all that you are talking about. Your predictions have been SPOT ON up until now. But if we shut you up, maybe none of it will happen. That will stop Portugal from defaulting, yes. This truth can not stand, time for a distraction, 'NAZI'. It isn't the EU making its own problems, its obviously UKIP.
16:02 February 2, 2012 by AmandaJayne1976
@LancashireLad I completely agree. Farage has no real argument and so he resorts to name calling in an effort to be inflammatory. I agree that he should have been allowed to continue. As the old adage goes...give a man enough rope and he may just hang himself.
16:18 February 2, 2012 by intensive_care

Why Germany tried to take control of Greece's Budget?

Where is the soverignity of a country?

Why EU didnt reschedule or write off certain Greece's debt in the first place?

Why Greece was given the worst option of IMF by Germany?

Why EU, Greece and Italy has non-elected people as their head, where is the democracy?

Why don't Germany along with other crocodiles dont go into referendum into their own country on euro, economic policies as well as foreign policy?

The answer is simple democracy is a product which is best to export and worst to import. That is why EU is Hypocracy GmbH.

Why do italy, spain and greece are made to buy expensive oil from other countries rather than cheal oil from iran? Everyone knows it will worsen their economic problems.
16:56 February 2, 2012 by coffejohn
Whatever you may think of Farage he was elected by British voters, the same people who will soon have to stump up billions to the IMF in order to save the Euro.

Schulz took the easy way out to stop him making his point and in so doing did a better job of making it than Farage.

At the end of the day all we can learn from Schulz`s actions is that the EU is in denial. Perhaps its members should read todays Independent newspaper, its leading article is "The experts' view on the euro's future: it doesn't have one ".
18:07 February 2, 2012 by raandy
@intensive_care Why you not take the integration course?
20:29 February 2, 2012 by intensive_care
@raandy ... would you like to elaborate your comment?
20:55 February 2, 2012 by zeddriver

Put into simple terms.

Greece had a very small economy. But the labor unions were very strong. So the government set up very expensive retirement packages. Workers could retire at 52 years old.

So they went broke. The EU bailed them out and said get your finances in order. Stop spending more than you take in. After Greece got The EU taxpayers money. Greece showed their middle finger to the EU. And started spending more money than they have.

Now the EU is going to take the credit card away.

At least. That is my understanding of the situation.
22:29 February 2, 2012 by carlm
I agree with the Limey, Germany has no business telling Greece what to do and is foolish to bail them, or any other country, out. If Germany is willing to bail Greece out, what do they expect in return, I mean who would be dumb enough to do that and not expect something back?

Collectivism never works over the long run.
22:33 February 2, 2012 by intensive_care

The problem with greece is that their policy makers are thieves and they are well protected by EU. The austerity have decreased the life line of middle and lower class but it has no effect on the rich people. Greece is a classic example of thief making security policies. By giving more debt to Greece will make sure that Greece will default on its huge debt, which cause a chain of banks (lenders) going broke in lender countries and directly effecting mainly the medium and small businesses all over the Europe. But the direct beneficiaries are the banks and politicians who are eying for important assets of Greece.
23:06 February 2, 2012 by zeddriver

Agreed. No bail out.


That is only partially true. The citizens need to take some of the blame to. They did not look at the big picture and wonder where all the retired at 52 pension money would come from. All they thought was hot dog I get a big pension at only 52.

It's the same in the US. The average voter or worker always votes for the politician or union official that promises to give them the most of other peoples money. As material costs went up, so did wages, and so did the cost of funding those pensions. Normally a company uses their raising stock prices along with others in the stock market. But as the cost of doing business went up. along with ill thought out fed monetary policies. It caused a downward trend in stocks. So the factories pulled out and went to china. But with Greece being a state run economy. The government couldn't out source. As in the states. So they are toast.
03:58 February 3, 2012 by Runnerguy45
Germany should just say "you are right, we are terrible people and our money is no good either, let Britian bail Greece out since they are so noble". Probem solved.
07:52 February 3, 2012 by McM
All for one and one for all! I mean free for all. The crisis MEP chook raffle is still a no go. It brings out the best in posters though.
08:48 February 3, 2012 by design
its about time europe felt the financial crisis
09:45 February 3, 2012 by dxlman
Nigel Farage says it as it is, something the EU doesn't like because it doesn't want the world to see it in it's true colours.

He has every right to speak, and I applaud him for his open and honest speeches because he's the only one with a backbone in the EU.

Nobody wants the Germans or French to lead the EU, it's supposed to be run by a group of nations, not just 2 who think they are in charge of the rest of us.

Nigel is a euro sceptic, and from what has been happening, is rightly so!
12:53 February 3, 2012 by scottfree
England needs to stick their nose out of the Euro. They're not involved and therefore have NO say. They need to shut up or roll their sleeves up and help.
15:12 February 3, 2012 by Al uk
@runnerguy what is the point of throwing good money after bad? The debt is too huge to ever pay back and continues to grow.

@scottfree BRITAIN is in the EU though.
23:00 February 3, 2012 by Russk
It appears that "LancashireLad" is one of a small minority of people in the UK who wish to remain in the EU. The majority of British people want to withdraw from the EU, but it appears that the governing institutions are democratic in name only.

It has been stated here that Nigel Farage has lost even more credibility because of his speech, but the reality is that he is one of the few MEPs who are actually standing up for what the British people want.

The EU should respect our democracy and set us free.
16:48 February 4, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
The statement by Russk, that most Britons want to leave Europe must give us reason for thought. Are the people in Britain being deliberately lied to or just being told half-truths? Do they not receive the information about the advantages and opportunities which a United Europe offers? Alone in the area where I live, there are dozens of Britons who prefer to stay here rather than return to a Tory or New-Labour led Britain. Both of these parties are run by overgrown schoolboys who are not old enough to remember that we lost thousands of young soldiers in WW2 in just the hope of a free democratic Europe.

No we should not leave the EU politics in the hands of communist educated capitalist cow-tailers such as Merkel, or a German defence Minister like Thomas de Maizière, who urges more military might in Europe,such persons are not just a danger to their own country, but to the whole of Europe. Britain should be leading Europe, not just dragging behind like a like a wet fish on land. That is not the Europe our lads died for. Surely we must ave some capable politicians somewhere. No conductor could successfully coordinate an Orchestra in which every musician decides to play a different melody.
22:28 February 4, 2012 by zeddriver
@Kennneth Ingle

There are honest people out there that would love to be in politics. But they would never get elected. Because they would have to tell the voter what they do not want to hear. That the government is to big and wasteful and can't spend money like a drunken sailor anymore. You see. Most people in developed nations tend to vote for the politician that promises to give them the most money. The same voter will devote possibly one microsecond thinking about where that money will come from. Of course the common answer is to take money from the rich and give it to them.

God forbid if you bring up foreign policy. As most voters eyes will glaze over and take on a zombie like quality. Then after a few seconds they will say in a loud voice. Hey! how about those Yankees. Do ya think they'll make it to the series this years. Oh! I just remembered. I need to register to vote.

It's sad. But most voters when asked about their smart phones. Will bend your ear for an hour. With a diatribe that would put most doctoral thesis' to shame. Yet can only tell you who there elected rep. is after having googled it. that's why the system is broke.
03:42 February 5, 2012 by supernova
I bet this English creep has a Greek boyfriend!
19:40 February 5, 2012 by Lord Wilson
Nigel Farage is simply exploiting the problems that the Europeans are creating for themselves.

Sort the problems out and Nigel is out of a job.


P.S. Please Frau Merkel sort Europe's problems out soon as otherwise we'll have to start learning Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic and Korean to understand our new economic masters.
23:08 February 5, 2012 by Demetri
Speaking I someone Greek...

I agree that Greece must maintain the right to control its own budgets (else it is no longer a sovereign state which is a red line that cannot be crossed). And although I blaim Greece for its economic mistakes I don't appreciate all the nasty name calling of Greeks by some in the German press and among German policians. (who seem to have forgotten how Greeks, and everyone else, essentially forgave most German debts after WW2)

Having said that, I don't think Greeks (or Farage) referencing Germans as "Nazis" is appropriate either. Name calling and shooting each other down isn't going to solve problems. It will only create them. Working together for common European interests is what will solve problems.

I look at the current debt crisis as the EU's first test. The pure nationalists wish to destroy the EU but I think we have more in common than different. We don't need to get rid of our national identities but I see mostly positive in also adding a European element to it. For the last 70 years we have basically seen prosperity thinking like this. We should not cowardly run back to nationalism, xenophobia and hate at our first challenge. We should struggle to overcome.
08:00 February 6, 2012 by prentiz
Supernova - he may or may not have a Greek boyfriend - Nigel Farage does have a German wife though! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Farage
00:16 February 7, 2012 by supernova
He obviously loves his Greek boyfriend more than his wife after all it's a new passion for you white eggs!
10:37 February 7, 2012 by jg.
Kennneth Ingle "Alone in the area where I live, there are dozens of Britons who prefer to stay here rather than return to a Tory or New-Labour led Britain."

So - your point about how great the EU is for Britain is that life in Britain (as part of the EU) is so intolerable, it is better to live in Germany.

The problem for Britain is that EU membership has not really worked out well. Britain is second only to Germany in net contributions but, unlike Germany, has a huge trade deficit with the rest of the EU and despite 40 years of EEC/EU membership, the USA is still Britain's biggest export customer. EU fines for exceeding public spending limits were imposed on Britain and other EU members but France and Germany simply refused to pay them. While Kraft is taking EU subsidies to move British jobs at Cadbury to Poland, Germany continues to hold an illegal golden share in VW, precisely to avoid a possible takeover that would be allowed under the EU rules which enable Kraft to takeover Cadbury. Whilst often being accused of being bad EU members, Britain continues to implement EU directives while other states openly flout them (e.g. Council Directive 1999/74/EC - many states are now openly in breach of this directive about animal welfare, despite having a decade to prepare for the January 2012 deadline).
18:20 February 8, 2012 by dackelpoop
The idiotic comments of an inbred Anglo-Norman elite should not be taken at any weight.

The man is a fool and the UK venomous it's own incompetence has driven the nation into a downward spiral.
15:09 February 12, 2012 by Ultima Thule
Schultz' action of shutting off comment by an elected parliamentarian because he didn't like what he said was, by definition, anti-democratic.

In Britain, we have many words in our language to describe people who are anti-democratic. Many of these words come from our long history of fighting for our conception of freedom. Some of those words such as Bonapartist have fallen out of use over time. Others such as fascist, commie and nazi are still in everyday use in our islands.

When people like Farage say what they believe, we should allow them their say , even when we deeply dislike what they say. To do anything else is anti-democratic [see definition above]. Learn to put your trust in wise old Voltaire and not blinkered fools like Schultz.
23:10 May 7, 2013 by LazierDaisy
Disgusting treatment of an elected politician. Obviously, the accusation of being a Nazi is absolutely justified. I realise democracy - a GREEK contribution to humanity - is quite a new adventure for Germany, but in Britain we have had this for some time and defended it - in particular against power-crazed insane Germans. Who cares if the old bastard Schultz didn't like what he heard? Nobody is there for his pleasure - he is there to shut up and listen to the opinion of the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED Members.
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