January 22, 2007

British MEP criticizes Bulgarian colleague for anti-Semitic comment

A new extreme-right group in the European Parliament is in disarray after one of its MEPs from UK disowned a colleague, the British daily newspaper The Independent reported. The rift emerged at a news conference on Wednesday to launch the new ultra-nationalist group “Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty”, led by French MEP Bruno Gollnisch, who is awaiting a court verdict on charges of Holocaust denial.

The only British MEP in the group, Ashley Mote, a former UK Independence Party member, turned on his 23-year-old Bulgarian colleague, Dimitar Stoyanov, over press comments he made earlier this week when he said he opposes the “Jewish establishment” and accused Roma parents in his country of selling their daughters
into prostitution.

Mote said: “I think the comments reflect the inexperience and lack of political nous of the young man concerned. I have twice given him the opportunity to make a statement and he has rejected the opportunity to do so.”

Stoyanov, who is a member of Bulgaria’s ultra-nationalist Ataka Party and the European Parliament’s youngest MEP, had denied being anti-Semitic but said he opposes the "Jewish establishment", which uses normal Jewish people "like pawns".

He was also quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: “There are a lot of powerful Jews, with a lot of money, who are paying the media to form the social awareness of the people. They are also playing with economic crises in countries like Bulgaria and getting rich. These are the concrete realities."

Stoyanov became a member of the parliament after Bulgaria joined the European Union on January 1.