World

Madrid's new culture councilor criticized for joking about Holocaust on Twitter 4 years ago

  • City councilors vote to elect Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, as Madrid's new mayor in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    City councilors vote to elect Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, as Madrid's new mayor in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

  • Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, claps after being elected as Madrid's new mayor after being voted by city councilors in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, claps after being elected as Madrid's new mayor after being voted by city councilors in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (The Associated Press)

  • Madrid's new Mayor and member of Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now) party Manuela Carmena, center, meets the crowd in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are expected to swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The radical leaders promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. The leadership change comes weeks after Spain's two largest traditional parties were punished in nationwide local elections by voters groaning under the weight of austerity measures and repulsed by a string of corruption scandals. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Madrid's new Mayor and member of Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now) party Manuela Carmena, center, meets the crowd in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, are expected to swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The radical leaders promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. The leadership change comes weeks after Spain's two largest traditional parties were punished in nationwide local elections by voters groaning under the weight of austerity measures and repulsed by a string of corruption scandals. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)  (The Associated Press)

Madrid's newly appointed leftist culture councilor has come under heavy criticism for posting a joke on Twitter about the Holocaust four years ago.

Guillermo Zapata on Sunday apologized for the tweets, which he said were not intended to be anti-Semitic, but as comments on the cruelty that jokes sometimes can reflect.

He added that the tweets, which he sent while working as a script writer and novelist in 2011, had been taken out of context by political opponents.

Spain's conservative Popular Party and Socialists called for Zapata to be fired from mayor Manuela Carmena's city hall government.

Carmena, backed by the radical Podemos party, was sworn in Sunday to lead Madrid's first left-wing city government in 24 years and relies on coalition support from the Socialists to stay in power.