A Romanian minister yesterday apologised for having compared the incineration of dead pigs infected with African-swine-fever to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
"I respect all the members of the Jewish community and clarify that I only wished to describe the difficult situation facing Romanian breeders due to the African swine fever," Agriculture Minister Petre Daea said in a statement.
Daea said in a television interview Tuesday that in breeding grounds affected by the disease, "pigs are incinerated, it's extraordinary work, it's like Auschwitz".
"I have never offended anyone. I just expressed my pain", said the minister, whose statements often cause confusion.
The Israeli embassy in Romania expressed its "dismay and consternation at the affirmations of the Minister of Agriculture".
"We hope, though, that such an association was made by Minister Daea due to the lack of detailed information on what was the Holocaust and Auschwitz, without the intention of dishonouring the memory of millions of victims", the embassy said in a statement.
The centre-right opposition has called for Daea's resignation, with former prime minister Dacian Ciolos saying it was "unacceptable to compare the incineration of pigs to a world tragedy".