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Mayor Off to Germany for G20 Protest Trip Announced Last-Minute to Public

By Katie Honan | July 7, 2017 5:39am | Updated on July 7, 2017 10:58am
 The mayor will attend a G20 reception as well as keynote an address at a rally.
The mayor will attend a G20 reception as well as keynote an address at a rally.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

NEW YORK CITY — Auf Wiedersehen, bürgermeister!

Mayor Bill de Blasio flew to Hamburg, Germany on Thursday to attend events surrounding the G20 summit in a trip announced just hours before takeoff.

His spokesman, Eric Phillips, tweeted that they held off divulging the trip to make sure it didn't conflict with the funeral for Police Officer Miosotis Familia, which hasn't been publicly announced.

It was noted in an update to the mayor's schedule emailed to reporters at 4:16 p.m. He didn't have any other public events listed on his Thursday schedule, skipping the swearing-in of new recruits at the Police Academy.

On his first day in Germany, the mayor met with First Mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, and will later attend a reception for G20, the annual international conference between governments and banks.

During his weekly call to WNYC with Brian Lehrer — which Lehrer joked was "the most exotic 'ask the mayor' we've done" — he said he was invited to Hamburg as a colleague who shares progressive views.

He was invited "something like 10, 12 days ago" and planned to announce his trip earlier in the week, until Officer Familia was killed, he said. 

On Saturday, he'll be the keynote speaker at a "human rights and democracy" rally protesting President Donald Trump, according to organizers who tweeted about his participation.

"Hamburg Zeigt Haltung,” or Hamburg Shows Attitude, is a "non-violent demonstration followed by a festival for democracy and human rights," according to their Twitter account.

The organizers are paying for his flight and hotel, along with three staff members, but the cost of his 24-hour security will still be paid by NYC taxpayers, de Blasio said on WNYC.

"I have 24/7 security," he said. "It does not matter where I am in the world or in the country, I'm going to have that security."

On Thursday night in Hamburg, police and protesters were injured during protests, according to Reuters.

The mayor's overseas jaunt was fodder for his Republican candidate for mayor, Nicole Malliotakis — who tweeted a photo of a bloated de Blasio Photoshopped drinking beer and dressed in lederhosen.

The mayor is set to return to the city Sunday night, officials said.