Radu Mazare, the mayor of Constanta, Romania’s largest Black Sea port and one of the biggest cities in the country, has caused a storm after he goose-stepped on a catwalk decked out in a Nazi army general’s uniform.
Mazare is no stranger to controversy. He has long been notorious for his penchant for yachts, beautiful women, fast cars, and odd projects.
The former investigative journalist is the driving force behind much-maligned tourist attractions such as a funicular that offers rides above the hotel roofs of the seaside resort of Mamaia, as well as hated tollbooth barriers in the resort that operate during the peak summer season.
Mazare’s biggest passion however is fashion, and not only as a spectator. He has raised eyebrows before when he welcomed Mike Tyson on his Black Sea yacht and reportedly threw an offshore party with a bunch of Romanian models. He once ventured onto the catwalk dressed as James Bond, then as a Mafia don.
On July 18, however, Mazare’s catwalk career may have taken a step too far. During a fashion show in Mamaia, right next to the funicular, the mayor-turned-model stepped out in the Nazi uniform and goose-stepped in sync with his Wehrmacht-uniformed 12-year-old son.
When questioned by the media, Mazare argued that his uniform wasn't offensive as it was a Wehrmacht uniform and not an SS one. Then he said he actually was inspired by the anti-Nazi character portrayed by Tom Cruise in the Hollywood flick "Valkyrie."
Sinking ever deeper, Mazare then claimed that “all armies kill civilians, including the Romanian Army in Afghanistan.”
His explanations didn't do any good though and there were a number of complaints after media aired the footage. In Romania, it is illegal to display Nazi symbols and make gestures in public, but no charges have yet been filed.
-- Eugen Tomiuc