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Le Pen belittles Holocaust before EU Parliament

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-25

Gas chambers were a "detail" of WWII, Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National party in France, told the European Parliament on Wednesday. His view led some EU members to challenge his senior position in the parliament.

AFP - French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen caused a storm in the EU parliament Wednesday by repeating comments belittling the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.
  
Already at the centre of controversy over the possibility of the veteran MEP presiding over the chamber's next inaugural session, Le Pen said he was the victim of "inflammatory accusations" by the parliamentary socialist group head, German euro MP Martin Schulz, who had branded him a Holocaust denier.
  
"I just said that the gas chambers were a detail of second world war history, which is clear," he told a sitting of the European parliament in Strasbourg.

The far-right firebrand, who has several past convictions for racism and anti-Semitism, shocked Europe in 2002 by coming in second in the French presidential elections.

He gathered around 10 percent of votes in the last French presidential race in 2007.

Date created : 2009-03-25

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