Monday, 22. December 2014
20. 05. 14. - 16:00
Spain's Interior Minister has tried to defend himself against allegations of racism by saying that black faced figures in a series of posters warning against burglars had simply been people in balaclavas.
But his argument failed to impress critics, who pointed out that if that was the case, why do they also have black hands and black legs.
And asked why they were riding on camels if they weren't supposed to be foreign, he claimed the picture is simply a play on the image of the three Kings who in this case however were not bringing gifts, but were coming to rob the house. Another image showed someone in grey suit with just their eyes showing, in what was said to be a burkha.
In a written statement the ministry said: "The image is not actually of the Three Kings with black skin but three criminals in balaclavas. We want to warn people that crooks could try to pass themselves off as something legitimate to try and rob people's homes."
Ruyan Torres Veliz from the Spanish "Youth Against Racism" organisation said: "As well as not explaining why these people had black hands and feet, including the woman in a dress, it should be pointed out to the Interior Ministry that it isn't Christmas which is usually the time the Three Kings are out in force."
The brightly-coloured posters for the campaign to prevent home burglaries that were put up around the country have come under fire not just from anti-racism groups but also from Spain's main opposition party, the socialist PSOE.
A party spokesman said: "The association is clear, if you are burglar you are black."
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