(JTA) — A Spanish politician apologized for using the term “Jewish market” in describing budget negotiations.
Jose Antonio Monago, the president of the local government of the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura, said his statement was inappropriate but had been taken out of context.
“I did not mean to cause any offense with this expression,” he said in an apology appearing Thursday in the Europa Press news agency, adding that he is “publicly apologizing to the Jewish community.“
Monago had said that “discussions about the budget must not turn into a Jewish market.”
In a statement Thursday, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, or FCJE, accepted Monago’s apology.
“FCJE values the apology of the president of the Extremadura and thanks him for making it in connection with the unfortunate phrase,” the umbrella group wrote.
Monago visited Israel last year, calling it “a role model for the entire world and especially for Europe.”
At the end of his trip, he wrote an op-ed for the local el Periodico Extremadura in which he praised Israel for being a world leader in science and medicine and called its president, Shimon Peres, “one of the world’s most brilliant leaders.”