A Dane who lives in an amusement park. A Gypsy who vows to ban short-distance air travel. A Pole who wants to turn the European Parliament into a brothel.
Europe has elected 751 people to five-year terms as members of European Parliament, or MEPs. The vast majority of the seats were won by traditional parties, but the election also saw an eclectic group of outsiders win seats. Here are some of their stories:
PARTY OF PARODY:
Germany's Die Partei — The Party — pledges to do away with daylight savings time ("for an extra hour of sleep"), build a wall around Switzerland ("because they've earned it"), and have a well-known German television presenter host child-porn videos ("so that nobody will watch them anymore.")
Still, leader Martin Sonneborn says: "I don't think we're the craziest in European Parliament."
Die Partei — whose name is an acronym for "Party for Work, Rule-of-Law, Protection of Animals, Advancement of Elites and Grassroots-Democratic-Initiative" — was founded by editors of the satirical magazine Titanic. It grabbed one parliamentary seat with 0.6 percent of Germany's vote.
Sonneborn said the party intends to rotate 60 representatives through the seat so they will each receive a month's salary and "transitional pay" once they leave. The Parliament has already said the plan isn't allowed under its rules.
"We'll milk the EU like a small south European country," he said.
Sonnenborn, as his party's first MEP, knows he bears a grave responsibility.
"I'm going to use the next four weeks to intensively prepare for my resignation," he said.
Many candidates triumphed in the European elections by plugging an anti-EU line, but few had proposals quite as radical as Pole Janusz Korwin-Mikke's. He wants to turn the parliament building into a brothel as a sign of his contempt.
Korwin-Mikke's "New Right Wing" party won 7 percent of the vote in Poland, securing four seats in the Parliament, with a promise to destroy the European Union by destroying its regulations.
During his campaign, Korwin-Mikke called politicians in Brussels "thieves" and vowed to "eradicate" every manifestation of EU's existence, calling it "pink rot."
Korwin-Mikke is also a master Bridge player who wrote a popular book on the game.
After winning a seat, he pledged he would "fight to make Europe more normal."
When the Danish People's Party MEP Morten Messerschmidt isn't in Brussels, he lives in a Copenhagen amusement park.
His girlfriend, Dot Wessmann, works there as a cabaret singer and her family own many of the game booths. The 33-year-old Dane with a penchant for French wines frequently helps with chores at the Bakken amusement park, including hosing down rides and preparing bumper cars. The couple, who live in a wooden home, recorded a CD of Christmas carols in 2008.
Messerschmidt is taking one of the four seats in European Parliament won by the Euro-skeptic Danish People's Party, known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Messerschmidt has often found himself at the center of controversy.
In 2002, Messerschmidt was convicted of inciting racial hatred over an ad that read: "Mass rape, gross violence, insecurity, forced marriages, oppression of women, gang crime. This is what a multi-ethnic society offers us."
In 2007, Messerschmidt, was accused of praising Adolf Hitler and singing Nazi songs publicly. He admitted being drunk at lunch with Danish lawmakers and celebrities, but was acquitted two years later, and the newspaper that carried the allegation was fined.
Bulgarian-born Kostadinka Kuneva worked as a cleaner after moving to Greece to find work. Kuneva, who studied history at university, became an outspoken labor organizer and was attacked with acid outside her Athens home in 2008, suffering life-threatening injuries.
Continue reading this story on the...