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Ambassador resigns after comparing Merkel to Hitler

Malta’s Ambassador to Finland has resigned after a controversial Facebook post in which he compared German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Adolf Hitler.

Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo confirmed to Times of Malta that ambassador Michael Zammit Tabona had stepped down.

He said that an apology would be sent to the German embassy for the “insensitive” post.

In the Facebook post, that has since been deleted, Zammit Tabona wrote: “75 years ago we stopped Hitler. Who will stop Angela Merkel? She has fulfilled Hitler’s dream! To control Europe.”

The post was uploaded on Friday, the day Europe celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of the second world war.

Contacted about the matter on Sunday, Bartolo said he had instructed the ambassador to remove the comment “as soon as I was alerted to it”.

He said he would also be issuing a reminder to diplomats to appropriate and responsible use of social media.

In a statement later in the evening, the Foreign Ministry said that while accepting the ambassador’s resignation with immediate effect, Bartolo stressed that Zammit Tabona’s comments on German Chancellor Angela Merkel were not representative of the friendship and mutual respect between Malta and Germany.

“In this regard, Minister Bartolo reiterates the Maltese Government’s commitment to deepen the strong and longstanding bilateral relations between the two countries,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, sources in the foreign affairs ministry said the post was “embarrassing for Malta” and would be frowned upon in diplomatic circles.

Zammit Tabona was appointed non-resident ambassador to Finland in 2014.