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EL PAIS (Spain), DIE WELT (Germany), BBC MUNDO

Worldcrunch

MADRID - After publishing a column comparing German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Adolf Hitler, Spanish daily El Pais has now retracted the piece and apologized following an outcry from Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

In the column titled “Germany Against Europe”, economist Juan Torres Lopez wrote: “Angela Merkel, like Hitler, has declared war on the rest of the continent, this time to guarantee (Germany) it’s vital economic space.”

El Pais has since taken down the article and published an apology in which it laments “that an error in supervision tasks allowed the publication of the material.” The column was published in the paper’s Andalusian regional edition says BBC Mundo, and El Pais emphasized that the views were the author’s own.

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photo by � (Aleph)

In the column, Torres Lopez wrote of Merkel: “She punishes us to protect (Germany’s) big companies and banks, whilst hiding from her electorate how the shameful model has seen the level of poverty rise to the highest it has been in 20 years, how 25% of her employees earn less than 9.15 euros per hour or how the half the population represent a miserable 1% of the total wealth of the country.”

On his website, Torres Lopez also made a statement on the retraction. “It’s true that in my article I said that in my opinion Germany has declared economic war on the rest of Europe, and that I compared it to the search of vital space that Hitler began the war for, but I believe that this should be understood as the comparison of two regrettable historic facts about unequal policy and not as the comparison of two political leaders.”

The column has provoked a backlash, particularly in Germany. Die Welt wrote that Germans are getting used to the backlash after each economic failure in Europe, but that the ugly German appears where people are looking for scapegoats.

I guess I am not the only one that feels that #Germany has crossed the line w their constant propaganda attacks on other #Europeans. #ElPais

— pedro dlv hernandez (@BcnFox) March 24, 2013

If @el_pais is so dumb to compare #Merkel to #Hitler at least make a #Guernica reference rather than #Lebensraum. ow.ly/jnwi1

— The Local (@TheLocalGermany) March 25, 2013

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