Maltese ambassador to Finland quits over Facebook post scandal

The ambassador, who served in Finland since 2014, compared German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Hitler.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at Germany's lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag in April 2020. Image: Filip Singer / EPA

Malta's ambassador to Finland has resigned after a furore erupted over a Facebook post in which he compared German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Last Friday, 8 May, countries across Europe celebrated Victory Day, marking Allies' acceptance of the total surrender of Nazi Germany's forces and the end of World War II on the continent.

Now-former Ambassador Michael Zammit Tabona took to Facebook to comment on the occasion, writing in a now-deleted post, "Seventy-five years ago we stopped Hitler. Who will stop Angela Merkel? She has fulfilled Hitler's dream! To control Europe."

Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo told the Times of Malta that he urged the ambassador to delete the comment, "as soon as I was alerted to it."

Bartolo also said that the government would apologise to Germany over the incident. He added that he would emphasise the importance of responsible and proper behaviour on social media to diplomats.

Tabona had been Malta's Ambassador to Finland since 2014. According to the BBC he was a political appointee (siirryt toiseen palveluun) rather than a career diplomat.

The incident was first reported in Finland by Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet.