MEP accused of making Nazi Salute

An Austrian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has been accused by a rival of making the so-called Nazi salute.Freedom Party (FPÖ) MEP Andreas Mölzer said today (Tues) independent MEP Hans-Peter Martin clicked his heels in front of his colleague Franz Obermayr in a hallway of the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg, France, before making the infamous Nazi era gesture also known as the Hitler salute.Right-winger Mölzer said Martin had done so after they jokingly asked him whether he overslept a parliamentary meeting. Mölzer added he found Monday’s incident “utterly inacceptable” and a “harm to the European Parliament’s dignity”.Mölzer also accused Martin of having called him and Obermayr “right-wing extremists”.Asked whether Mölzer’s accusations were true, Martin said: “I didn’t mean it that way. It was a ridiculous gesture. But I clearly said that they [Mölzer and Obermayr] are right-wing extremists by international standards.”Mölzer has been linked to the far-right mindset for years. He published right-wing newspaper “Zur Zeit” and is regarded as a representative of the FP֒s nationalist branch.Mölzer hit the headlines last year when he insulted Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton on the day they were named President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy respectively.”Speculation that Ashton has been picked because (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel looks like a Playboy girl next to her have to be rubbished, of course,” Mölzer said in November.He added at that time: “And the opinion that Van Rompuy has become President of the European Council because (French president) Nicolas Sarkozy looks like James Bond when standing next to him needs to be dismissed too,” Mölzer added.Martin lashed out at European Union (EU) leaders over their decision to name Van Rompuy and Ashton too. He called them an “evidence of incapacity” and “disgusting trading of political posts”.Martin sensationally came third in last year’s elections for the EP. The former journalist – who fell out with the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ) after heading the party’s list for the EP election in 1999 – won 17.9 per cent in the June 2009 vote.Mölzer’s FPÖ meanwhile got 13.1 per cent, up from the 6.3 per cent they garnered in 2004.The Kronen Zeitung’s massively EU-critical coverage and the daily’s open support of Martin’s bid are regarded as influential factors on public opinion in Austria. The market-leading paper has around three million readers everyday.Martin is co-author of 1996 bestseller “Die Globalisierungsfalle” (The Global Trap) and he hit the headlines by revealing MEPs’ various habits of cashing in subsidies for years.Martin recently caused controversy by offending journalist Harald Fidler. During a live debate on private channel ATV earlier this year that Martin had considered running for Austrian president in the 25 April elections himself, and had still not got over the Kronen Zeitung’s decision to support the bid of FPÖ MP Barbara Rosenkranz.Martin expressed his disagreement by shouting “Fuck you!” towards Fidler.