Spanish politician wears SS uniform to carnival
Jessica Jones · 24 Feb 2015, 11:31
Published: 24 Feb 2015 11:31 GMT+01:00
- The craziest carnivals celebrated in Spain (17 Feb 15)
- Sun, sea and sequins as carnival hits Tenerife (09 Feb 15)
But one Basque Country councillor has landed himself in hot water after attending Tenerife’s famous carnival in full Nazi uniform.
A photograph showing Juanjo Gastañazatorre, councillor in the Basque town of Durango, saluting at the camera has been published on the website eldia.es. The black uniform bore a striking resemblance to that worn by the SS, the brutal Nazi unit responsible for many of the worst atrocities of the Third Reich.
The image has caused secretary general of the PP in the Basque Country, Nerea Llano, to apologize for Gastañazatorre: “We cannot allow a career so dedicated to the defence of freedom, human rights and democracy like that of Juanjo Gastañazatorre to be tainted by a mistake.”
Gastañazatorre did not originally seem too concerned by the controversy; he is reported in Spanish newspaper El Correo, as originally saying: "If it bothered or offended anyone, they just don’t get the Tenerife Carnival."
But he has since apologized for wearing the Nazi costume: "In no way did I act in bad faith. My intention was not to offend anyone, least of all the victims of Nazism," he was quoted as saying in El Correo.
The PP councillor also expressed "the most resounding rejection of any regime that is authoritarian or against human rights, as was Nazism."
Gastañazatorre, 67, founded the Basque party Alianza Popular de Vizcaya in 1976. He has been the spokesman for the PP in Durango for 32 years.
It is not the first Nazi-related faux pas to befall the PP: at the beginning of February, two youth leaders in the party resigned after a photograph of them making Nazi salutes and holding a fascist flag leaked online.
Britain’s Prince Harry famously hit the headlines after attending a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi, as did the leader of Germany’s anti-Islam group, Pegida, who stepped down in January after a photograph surfaced of him posing as Adolf Hitler.