European parliament fines Polish lawmaker for insulting women

March 14, 2017 10:30 pm

This file photo taken on January 12, 2015 shows Polish member of the parliament Janusz Korwin-Mikke during an assembly of the European Parliament. (Photo by AFP)

The European Parliament has suspended for 10 days a Polish member of the legislature after he made sexist remarks about the status of women and what they should earn in reward for work compared to men.
“We will not tolerate such behavior,” European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said on Tuesday, adding that Janusz Korwin-Mikke would be suspended from parliamentary activities for 10 days.
Korwin-Mikke would also be deprived of lawmakers’ daily subsistence allowance for 30 days, a sum totaling 9,210 euros ($9,800). The radical right winger, who leads a marginal party in , will also be banned from representing the EU parliament for one year.
The fine came after a bitter exchange between 74-year-old Korwin-Mikke and Iratxe Garcia-Perez, a female Spanish member of the EU parliament, during a parliamentary debate 10 days ago. The Polish lawmaker interrupted Garcia-Perez and called women “weaker and less intelligent.”
“Of course women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent.” he said, adding, “Do you know how many women are in the first 100 of chess players. I tell you: no one.”
Garcia Perez reacted to the sexist remarks and vowed to defend women against people like Korwin-Mikke.

The file photo shows Iratxe Garcia-Perez, a member of the European Parliament.

“According to what you are saying… I would not have the right to be here,” said Garcia Perez, adding, “I think I have to defend European women to men like you.”
Tajani, who launched an inquiry following the debate, said the sexist remarks was a disrespect to the EU’s most respected principles, adding that the behavior came from someone who was expected to discharge his duties with due dignity.
“By offending all women, (Korwin-Mikke) displayed contempt for our most fundamental values,” said Tajani.
Korwin-Mikke had previously faced punishments from the EU parliament for making racist comments, including his designation of refugees as “human garbage” and his way of calling black Americans.
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