Mayor de Blasio announced he was going on a jaunt to Germany on Thursday — mere hours before the trip.
Hizzoner will crash the G20 conference in Hamburg — with plans to attend a peaceful protest event called “Hamburg Zeigt Haltung,” or Hamburg Shows Attitude, his office announced just hours before he was set to depart Thursday night.
The mayor will travel with three staffers, but the cost of the trip will be picked up by event organizers, not City Hall, spokesman Eric Phillips said. The expense was approved by the Conflicts of Interest Board, Phillips said.
It is the second time in recent weeks the mayor has jetted out of New York with almost no notice to the public or the press. Phillips said the mayor decided to make the trip at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
The mayor — or burgermeister, as he’d be called in Bavaria — is half-German, as evidenced by his given name, Warren Wilhelm, but talks more commonly about his Italian heritage. Unlike his trip to Italy, there are no plans to visit any ancestral home towns, Phillips said.
The mayor’s decision to leave town to attend a protest in Germany comes just after the city was rocked by the assassination of a police officer, Miosotis Familia, on the Fourth of July. He plans to return on Sunday.
His Republican mayoral opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, ripped the trip.
“The news that Bill de Blasio is jetting off to Germany for the G20 is a slap in the face of New Yorkers who deserve a mayor who works for them,” she said. “A member of the NYPD was murdered, a homeless crisis continues to worsen and our subway system seems to be on the verge of collapse, and Mayor de Blasio has been criss-crossing the country pushing his national agenda, and now this. Taxpayers deserve to know how much this is costing them and why the mayor refuses to do his job and address the quality of life issues plaguing our city.”
The mayor’s office said it would not provide more information about the mayor’s international travel until he was already gone: “A more detailed public schedule will be issued with this trip in progress,” his public schedule read.
De Blasio was not always so cavalier about the whereabouts of the city’s top official. As mayor-elect, he ripped then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg for being in Bermuda during a Metro North derailment.
“I think it’s important to alert the public and the media broadly to my whereabouts,” he said at the time.
The Hamburg Zeigt Haltung rally will be held on Saturday at a fish market, according to listings for the event.
Supporters of the rally told Norddeutscher Rundfunk, a Hamburg public broadcasting network, they were not necessarily opposed to the G20 summit, but to some of its participants, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump.
While Hamburg has been rocked by protests, the event, according to its Facebook, is an effort to “show the world how our Hamburg truly is: Cosmopolitan, tolerant, diverse — and nonviolent.”
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