UKIP MEP Leader Nigel Farage was informed this afternoon by Jerzy Buzek, president of the European Parliament, that he had decided to fine him €3000 for his comments relating to Mr van Rompuy and Belgium. The fine represents 10 days pay, and is the maximum allowable under the rules of the European Parliament. Mr Buzek imposed it after Mr Farage declined earlier today to apologise for his comments.
Mr Farage said: "Free speech is an expensive business in the European Parliament."
“I tried to talk to the president of the Parliament about freedom of speech, especially in Parliament from elected members, but he has asked me to apologise. He wants me to apologise to Herman Van Rompuy, He wants me to apologise to the European Parliament and he wants me to apologise to the people of Belgium. […]
“I will apologise to bank clerks the world over. If I caused them offence I am very sorry. But if I am not allowed to stand up and say that I think it is wrong that this man has got a job which pays him a salary bigger than Obama’s and that is because the Lisbon Treaty went through without us having a referendum... then what sort of democracy is there in this EU?”