Taken from the Euroactiv-Brief
Today’s EU policy news, 28.10.2016, 5PM
Commissioner mocks Chinese and gay marriage
By James Crisp
Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger has mocked the Chinese, gay marriage, and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s divorce in a shock speech.
Oettinger is infamous for putting his foot in it. But after footage emerged today of the jaw-dropping tirade, it very much looks like Germany’s man in Brussels is guilty of a gaffe too far this time.
He said at a speech in Hamburg, “Last week Chinese ministers visited us […] nine men, one party, and no democracy.
“All of them in suits, single breasted dark blue jackets. All of them had their hair combed from left to right, with black shoe polish on their hair.”
Germany has a quota for female representation on company boards. “There is no quota for women [in China], and there were consequently no women [among the ministers],” Oettinger said to nervous laughter.
The source of the embarrassing footage claims they began filming after Oettinger used the term “Schlitzaugen” – slitty eyes – in reference to the Chinese.
We could not independently confirm he used the racist term on Wednesday. Oettinger’s communications advisor told us she had no comment to make.
To nervous laughs, Oettinger ploughed on. Discussing German politics, he sarcastically said, “Perhaps obligatory homosexual marriage will be introduced.”
He said that Gerhard Schröder, who now works for Gazprom, would have time on his hands after the collapse of his fourth marriage.
“Now he has time. North Stream 2 won’t be built and his wife has left,” he said, referring to the controversial plans for a Russian-German gas pipeline, which is under European Commission scrutiny.
Oettinger also bemoaned the loss of the good old days when everyone read a newspaper, instead of their smartphones. Soon we will have more committees than people, he added.
And it was all going so well for him in Brussels recently. Expect this story to run over the weekend.