The European Parliament punished a Polish extreme-right MEP on Tuesday after he said women should be paid less because they are "weaker and less intelligent" than men.
Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Janusz Korwin-Mikke had received an "unprecedented" sanction, including the forfeit of his daily MEP allowance for 30 days, totaling 9,210 euros ($9,800).
The 74-year-old Korwin-Mikke was also suspended from parliamentary activities for 10 days and will be prohibited from representing the parliament for one year.
Tajani's announcement was greeted by applause. Korwin-Mikke appeared to laugh and clap himself as his punishment was read out.
During a March 1 debate on the gender pay gap Korwin-Mikke, a radical right-winger who leads a marginal party, said: "Of course women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less, that's all."
Parliamentary authorities opened an investigation under rules specifying that members must show mutual respect and refrain from "defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior."
"I will not tolerate such behaviour, in particular when it comes from someone who is expected to discharge his duties as a representative of the peoples of Europe with due dignity," Tajani said. "By offending all women, (Korwin-Mikke) displayed contempt for our most fundamental values."
Campaign group Avaaz welcomed the sanction, which came after almost one million people signed a petition asking that the European Parliament punish Korwin-Mikke.
"Nearly one million Europeans are calling for a parliament that promotes equality and unity, not one that becomes a megaphone for hate speech," said Avaaz campaigner Patricia Martin Diaz.
Korwin-Mikke has previously courted controversy by claiming Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was "not aware of the extermination of the Jews", calling refugees "human garbage" and using a racist term to refer to black Americans.
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