Former Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has described German criticism of human rights violations in Qatar as arrogant. The Germans insult the emirate every day, even though it is making progress. The statements met with great outrage.

Former SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel caused outrage on Saturday with surprising statements about human rights violations in Qatar. “The German arrogance towards Qatar has gone to the ‘Ko…’!” he wrote on his Twitter channel on Saturday.

Gabriel also compares the anti-human rights regime in the World Cup host country Qatar with Germany’s past. “How forgetful are we? Homosexuality was a punishable offense in Germany (Germany, editor’s note) until 1994. My mother still needed her husband’s permission to work. We treated ‘guest workers’ badly and housed them miserably,” said the former Vice-Chancellor. The country would gradually become more progressive, he believes. “The UN, the ILO praise the country for its reforms. Only we Germans insult it every day,” the former Economics and Foreign Minister ended his statement.

Not only users of the messenger service react to Gabriel’s tweet with great criticism, his party colleagues are also appalled. SPD politician Henning Tillmann answers Gabriel: “I can’t remember that in 1993 homosexuals had to be afraid of being whipped. Or that ‘guest workers’ died en masse in Germany. Sigmar, seriously, you can’t be serious about the nonsense you’re writing in that tweet?”

The young social democratic politician Dario Schramm also clearly distanced himself from Gabriel’s statements. “This tweet belittles the thousands of dead who lost their lives because of this purchased World Cup. No social democrat would tweet like that,” he comments on Twitter.

Actor and satirist Florian Hacke accuses Gabriel of arrogance. “Funnily enough, DAS is arrogant towards Qatar, because ‘they’re just not as far along as we are, we can turn a blind eye with all our human rights and stuff like that, because otherwise the World Cup wouldn’t be that much fun!'” Hacke said on Twitter .

Many critics comment that Gabriel’s statements can be traced back to his close contacts in the emirate. Gabriel has been a member of the Deutsche Bank Supervisory Board since 2020. Qatar holds eight percent of the shares, more than any other investor. The emirate would play a key role in making many decisions at the bank, wrote the “Spiegel” in January 2021. This also included the decision that Gabriel should move to the supervisory board.

In an interview with “ZDF” in early October, Gabriel said that Qatar was trying to become a modern country. The working conditions are not what you would imagine in Europe. But the country would continue to develop. Here, too, he drew a comparison with Germany. “It took Germany 250 years to reach the level of liberality,” said Gabriel.

Gabriel also suggested closer cooperation: “I think that we should pick up on Qatar’s interest in cooperation, especially when it comes to reforms. To help the Qataris to set up something like a trade association, to investigate accidents at work, to carry out better wage controls.”

Qatar has been particularly criticized for human rights violations since the controversial awarding of the World Cup in 2010. In addition to the exploitation of guest workers and unexplained deaths of migrant workers, the focus is also on restricting the rights of women and LGBT people.