British MP Likens Schroeder to Hitler
A senior member of Britain's Conservative Party was at the center of an embarrassing election campaign row on Saturday after he compared German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's view of Europe with that of Adolf Hitler.
Sir Peter Tapsell, a member of parliament who nominated William Hague for the Conservative leadership in 1997, described Schroeder's proposals for the European Union as a “Germanic master plan,” according to British newspapers.
“We may not have studied Hitler's Mein Kampf in time, but, by heaven, there is no excuse for us not studying the Schroeder plan now,” Tapsell told supporters in his constituency as campaigning for Britain's June 7 general election hotted up.
Schroeder called this week for stronger central powers in the European Union.
In remarks that repeatedly referred to World War Two, Tapsell said the British way of life was under threat from Europe.
“From Brussels and Bonn and Berlin the present generation of Britons face again the threat of a foreign and alien sovereignty which threatens our way of life, our commerce and our culture,” he was quoted as saying by The Times.
Tapsell said he could never support the euro, adding that a single European currency had been proposed by the Nazis “as a means of perpetuating German dominance in Europe after Germany won the war,” according to the Financial Times.
A spokesman for the opposition Conservatives was quoted as saying: “Sir Peter has been saying that to anyone who will listen for more than 20 years.
“But his views are not shared by the leadership of the Conservative Party.”
A Labour Party spokesman said it was an example of the “extremism” that lay at the heart of the Conservative Party.
The row comes just as Hague was recovering from the damage caused by another of his party's MPs, John Townend, who drew accusations of racism when he said Britons were becoming a “mongrel race.” -- LONDON (Reuters)
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