The European Parliament sanctioned a Polish extreme-right MEP on Tuesday after he said women should be paid less because they are weaker and less intelligent than men.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Janusz Korwin-Mikke, 74, had received an “unprecedented” sanction, including the forfeit of his daily MEP allowance for thirty days, totalling 9,210 euros (9,800).
Korwin-Mikke has previously been punished by the EU assembly for making racist comments and remarks about the Holocaust.
“I will not tolerate such behaviour, in particular when it comes from someone who is expected to discharge his duties as a representative of the peoples of Europe with due dignity,” Tajani said in a statement.
Korwin-Mikke was also suspended from parliamentary activities for ten days and will be prohibited from representing the parliament for one year. Tajani launched an inquiry following a bitter exchange in the chamber earlier this month in which the bowtie-wearing, moustachioed Korwin-Mikke interrupted female Spanish MEP, Iratxe Garcia-Perez.
“Of course women must earn less than men, because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent, they must earn less, that’s all,” Korwin-Mikke told parliament.
He then added: “Do you know how many women are in the first 100 of chess players. I tell you: no one.” Garcia Perez then shot back: “According to what you are saying… I would not have the right to be here.
“I think I have to defend European women to men like you.”
Korwin-Mikke has previously courted controversy by claiming Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was “not aware of the extermination of the Jews”, calling refugees “human garbage” and using a racist term to refer to black Americans.