Tory MEP sparks angry scenes with Nazi comments

UK Conservative Hannan likened chamber president's behavior to the passage of the "Ermaechtigungsgesetz."

eu parliament 88.298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
eu parliament 88.298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A British Conservative sparked anger at the European Parliament on Thursday by saying the chamber president's new powers reminded him of tactics used by the Nazi government of Germany to rule without the parliamentary consent. One lawmaker told Daniel Hannan, a Tory deputy for South East England, threateningly, that they should take the dispute "outside." Others booed Hannan or yelled at him to stop using Nazi terminology. The leader of Hannan's political group said he would push for his expulsion from the party. Hannan was one of two right-wing British lawmakers to complain during Thursday's voting session about the new right granted by the chamber to president Hans-Gert Poettering - a German - to overrule filibustering. Hannan then addressed Poettering, telling him that "it is only my affection for you ... that prevents me from likening this to the Ermaechtigungsgesetz" - the Enabling Act of 1933 that gave the German government special powers. Several leading deputies challenged British Conservative chairman David Cameron to dissociate himself from Hannan. "By comparing the ruling with the law that gave Hitler unlimited power ... Hannan is dishonoring memories of the victims of terror of the Nazi regime," said British Labour leader Gary Titley.