Tuesday

23rd May 2017

EU Commissioner in holocaust gaffe

  • Commissioner Margot Wallström has removed a controversial part of her VE day speech (Photo: European Commission)

Communication commissioner Margot Wallström removed a controversial passage on the holocaust from her VE day speech in Terezin, in the Czech Republic, but the original version of the text has caused upset.

The excised part of the speech hinted that rejecting a supranational Europe meant risking a new European holocaust, according to the Financial Times.

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In the original version, Commissioner Wallström was to say "Yet there are those today who want to scrap the supranational idea. They want the European Union to go back to the old purely inter-governmental way of doing things. I say those people should come to Terezin and see where that old road leads", according to the Financial Times.

The idea of a supranational Europe is what some opponents to the EU constitution see as the main argument against the treaty.

As commissioner for communication strategy, one of Margot Wallström's tasks is to make citizens see the advantages of the draft treaty.

Her spokesman argued that Mrs Wallström had removed the controversial passage because she did not have enough time to use the full text of her speech.

The Commissioner's comments were first reported by the Telegraph on Monday (9 May), and interpreted as an attack on eurosceptic opponents of the EU constitution.

Some MEPs criticised Mrs Wallstrom for the remarks at the plenary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, but she said the British press was lying, as she had not actually made the comments.

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