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Southeastern Europeans 'Less Intelligent' Than Scandinavians


Mogens Camre

Mogens Camre

A leading right-wing Danish Euro-parliamentarian has said that southeastern Europeans should not be given a stronger voice than the Scandinavians in the new European Parliament, as they are less intelligent than their Nordic counterparts.

In an interview with Radio France Internationale, Mogens Camre, a member of the conservative Danish People's Party, vented his anger at Romania and Bulgaria, which will hold more votes in the European Parliament than Denmark, Sweden, and Finland.

Undeservedly so, in Camre's opinion, since "honestly speaking" as he put it, "we are more clever than they are."

Camre is apparently unhappy that after the June elections for the 785-seat European Parliament, Denmark will lose one of its 14 seats, while Romania and Bulgaria will have 50 seats between them.

Camre, whose party is in Denmark's ruling coalition, has long been preoccupied with anti-European threats -- real or imaginary. Always on guard, he has previously accused Islamists of infiltrating Europe, "where they wait to be many enough to have us removed," and warned very seriously that "the European Parliament is being overwhelmed with mail from the Islamists who try to govern Europe."

Camre's views about thick-headed southeastern Europeans or a perceived Islamist plot by e-mail against the European Parliament should not be met with more than a grin, since the gentleman himself is said to have made the salutary decision not to run for reelection in the European Parliament.

But on the other hand, the prospect of sizeable gains by right-wing parties in the upcoming European Parliament election should be disturbing for Europeans -- Nordic, central, or southeastern alike.

Camre was very worried in his interview that European cooperation allows "people who have never been in Denmark [to] make decisions over Denmark," and that fact "will in the end destroy democracy."

The real threat to democracy, of course, would be giving a stronger voice to politicians like Camre.

-- Eugen Tomiuc (a Romanian)

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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