BRUSSELS – The European Parliament has voted to dismiss one of its vice presidents, Ryszard Czarnecki of Poland, after he compared a rival Polish parliament member to a Nazi collaborator.
Last month Czarnecki called Roza Thun, a European Parliament lawmaker from Poland's opposition Civic Platform party, a "szmalcownik," a derogatory term for the Poles who blackmailed Jews during the Nazi German occupation of Poland, after she had criticized Poland's government. Parliamentary party leaders called for his dismissal over "serious misconduct."
Poland's nationalist-conservative Law and Justice party has been criticized by Israel and the U.S., among others, for measures including a new law penalizing certain statements about the Holocaust.
Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Tuesday that Czarnecki went "too far" but that dismissing him would violate freedom of speech.