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RTE probe ambassador's Spanish 'idiot' complaint

RTE have concluded their investigation into complaints that Spanish people were called "idiots" on a national news report.

Spanish Ambassador Dona Mercedes Rico lodged an official complaint to the national broadcaster after the Nine O'Clock News broadcast a segment from Barcelona when Spain won the World Cup.

A Catalan woman interviewed by the reporter branded people from Spain as "idiot".

But the Spanish Ambassador in Dublin took offence to the remark and wrote to RTE to complain.

Additional viewers notified the broadcaster that they felt the report had an "anti-Spanish" tone.

The piece which took placed in Barcelona in the fiercely independent Catalan region, showed one woman who said in broken English: "I hate Spain. I am Catalan, not Spanish."

When the interviewer pressed her for her views now that Spain had won the World Cup, she replied: "Spanish people is idiot!"

A spokeswoman for RTE said that, as with all complaints, it was taken seriously.

"We confirmed at the time that we received a complaint from the Spanish embassy," she said.

"This was complaint was taken seriously. And we have nothing further to add."

The Spanish embassy did not provide comment at the time of going to print.

RTE also received one phone call and three emails complaining about the report's tone."

The YouTube clip of the RTE report has received over 14,000 hits and has sparked a debate between Spaniards and Catalans.

Barcelona's local fans with Catalan heritage are incredibly loyal to the region, but it didn't stop the majority of them rejoicing in Spain's historic World Cup win.

hnews@herald.ie