BBC denies TIF protest ‘staged’

The BBC has refuted government insinuations that its correspondent in Athens incited a Greek protester to throw a shoe at Prime Minister George Papandreou at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday. Journalist Malcolm Brabant had been told by a local resident (extreme right-wing doctor Stergios Pravazeris) that he intended to throw a shoe at the premier, the BBC noted. «Any suggestion that the protester was incited to behave in this way is completely unfounded. This event would have taken place had it been captured on camera or not,» it said. Brabant, an award-winning veteran, told Kathimerini the allegations were «absurd» and denied involvement in any kind of staged incident. The 49-year-old Pravazeris, briefly detained following his unsuccessful assault on Papandreou, is a member of a group called the Patriotic Front, which had urged readers of its website to protest austerity measures by throwing shoes at government officials.

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