German official apologizes after derogatory China comments

BRUSSELS – Germany’s European Union commissioner has apologized for making a derogatory reference to Chinese people and for mocking gay marriage.

Early this week, remarks surfaced from Guenther Oettinger, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party, referring to “slanty eyes” and also to “obligatory gay marriage” in Germany.

On Thursday, Oettinger said “I would like to apologize for any remark that was not as respectful as it should have been.” Oettinger said his remarks “have created bad feelings and may even have hurt people.”

Oettinger had come under increasing criticism, even though the German government and the EU Commission stood by him.