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svgadminsvgSeptember 21, 2011svgNews

Austrian Minister Apologizes for ‘Anti-Semitic’ Remarks

Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter this week sought to clarify remarks she made over the weekend that were construed at anti-Semitic, AFP reported.

Fekter apologized for a corollary she made between the contemporary media-pillorying of bankers and the rich to medieval persecution of Jews.

“In Europe we are now pillorying the banks and the wealthy,” Fekter had said on the sidelines of a European Union finance ministers meeting in Poland.

“This has already happened once, especially in the era against the Jews, but also against similar groups, and that drove us to two wars,

“We must therefore do everything so that this scenario does not recur,” Fekter said.

Fekter’s comments drew heavy criticism from Jewish leaders in Austria, who described her comments as “outrageous and irresponsible.”

On Sunday, Fekter apologized for any offense caused saying she intended the comparison to be a denunciation of “calls to hatred.”

Fekter added “the crimes of National Socialism (Nazi) and in particular the Holocaust are not comparable to anything else.”   

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, reprimanded Fekter for her comments and called on her to “pay attention to her choice of words.”

“The members of the government, who are supposed to set an example, must treat this sensitivity.”    

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