Com­mis­sioner Oet­tinger apol­o­gises for mock­ing Chi­nese

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The EU’s Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Com­mis­sioner Guen­ther Oet­tinger has for­mally apol­o­gised for mak­ing deroga­tory re­marks about Chi­nese of­fi­cials.

“I would like to apol­o­gise for any re­mark that was not as re­spect­ful as it should have been,” he said yes­ter­day.

In a speech to Ger­man busi­ness lead­ers he had spo­ken of Chi­nese of­fi­cials hav­ing “hair combed... with black shoe pol­ish” and called them “slitty-eyed”. China said Mr Oet­tinger had re­vealed a “baf­fling sense of su­pe­ri­or­ity”. The Ger­man of­fi­cial has been named as the next EU bud­get com­mis­sioner.

Po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents called his speech “racist” and said he was un­fit to hold such a se­nior post in the EU.

“I had time to re­flect on my speech, and I can now see that the words I used have cre­ated bad feel­ings and may even have hurt peo­ple. This was not my in­ten­tion,” he said in his apol­ogy.

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