Council of Europe to ban far-right lawmakers

Council of Europe to ban far-right lawmakers

Council of Europe to ban far-right lawmakers

Protesters hold a banner during an anti-racism rally in Athens January 19, 2013. REUTERS / Yorgos Karahalis

The parliamentary assembly of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe is considering a ban on a number of its far-right members who are affiliated with “neo-Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic” parties.

Eleni Zaroulia, a deputy from the Golden Dawn party in Greece and her Hungarian colleague Tamás Gaudi Nagy, from the far-right Jobbik party, could see their accreditation withdrawn under complaints launched Jan. 21, according to

Italian lawmaker Fiamma Nirenstein accused both members of belonging to political parties that were “racist and anti-Semitic,” saying that the values of these parties contradicted the Council of Europe’s ideals and principles.

The challenges were supported by at least 10 members of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. “Ms. Zaroulia said in her country’s Parliament that immigrants were sub-humans who had invaded her homeland and spread disease,” said Nirenstein. “Mr. Gaudi Nagy told his Parliament that there was a list of Jews representing a threat to national security and who were exploiting the Holocaust to dominate the world.”

The Assembly’s Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs will meet to consider both challenges, according to the report.

Under Assembly rules, the committee could ratify the credentials or not to ratify them. It could also to ratify the credentials but restrict the two lawmakers’ right of participation or representation in the Assembly and its bodies.