Duvar English / Anadolu Agency

The Greek MEP and former member of the far-right Golden Dawn party Ioannis Lagos has been penalized for tearing up a paper copy of the Turkish flag during a debate in the European Parliament last month.

For using an insulting language and tearing apart a national symbol, Lagos will lose seven days of his daily allowance and his parliamentary activities will be suspended for four consecutive days starting on Feb. 11. The financial penalty totals €2,261 ($2,469).

The incident happened during the last plenary session in January when EU lawmakers were debating the humanitarian situation on the Greek islands. Lagos accused the EU of ignoring the rights of Greeks and described a dramatic situation in Greece.

The Greek MEP blamed Turkey for the “stream of migrants coming into” his country and “getting away with whatever it likes.” He then tore into pieces a Turkish flag made of paper, and said: “Let’s put an end to this.”

In a swift response, the chair of the session called for restraint, adding that such behavior was not acceptable.

The European Parliament’s President David Sassoli started a sanction procedure against Lagos the following day.