German TV satire makes point with finger video

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis appeared on Thursday to have fallen for a clever hoax by a German satirical television presenter after the latter indicated that a video of the minister apparently making a rude finger gesture had not been faked as had been originally claimed.

A video showing Varoufakis extending the middle digit of his left hand during a speech referring to German authorities in 2013 fueled outrage in the German media after it was aired last weekend. Varoufakis said the video was fake. And when the presenter of the “Neo Magazin Royale” show, Jan Boehmermann, claimed on Wednesday that the video had been doctored, Varoufakis demanded an apology. But Boehmermann, and public broadcaster ZDF, said on Thursday that the show was satirical and aimed at highlighting the superficiality of media coverage, indicating that the video had not been tampered with.

Meanwhile Varoufakis clashed with opposition MPs in Parliament, claiming that he found no copy of Greece’s bailout agreements when he took over as finance minister and accusing his predecessor Gikas Hardouvelis of taking confidential documents with him. New Democracy’s Costas Karagounis remarked, “If the finance minister doesn’t know where to find legal documents that have been published in the Government Gazette and on the Internet, then something is wrong.”

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