A Polish extreme-right MEP faced on Friday an inquiry over "sexist remarks" in the European Parliament after he said women should be paid less because they are weaker and less intelligent than men.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, 74, has previously been sanctioned by the EU assembly for making racist comments and remarks about the Holocaust.
"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," Korwin-Mikke told parliament on Wednesday.
Following complaints from other MEPs, European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani said he had launched an inquiry over "sexist remarks" that could result in a fine or suspension.
"Mr Tajani was immediately alerted to the incident by several MEPs," the parliament said in a statement late Thursday, adding that he had watched footage of the incident.
The bowtie-wearing, moustachioed Korwin-Mikke made the comments after interrupting a speech by a female Spanish MEP, Iratxe Garcia-Perez.
He first made remarks about women in sport and added: "Do you know how many women are in the first 100 of chess players. I tell you: no one."
Garcia Perez then shot back: "According to what you are saying... I would not have the right to be here.
"I think I have to defend European women to men like you."
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.