Author Topic: Greek ex-finance minister scraps with police at Paris airport  (Read 67 times)

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Offline Rudi Jan

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‘Disgrace to French nation’: Greek ex-finance minister scraps with police at Paris airport

Published time: 14 Jul, 2019 12:50
Edited time: 14 Jul, 2019 15:17

French border police (PAF) is seen at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy. © Reuters / Gonzalo Fuentes

Greece’s former Finance Minister and current MP Yanis Varoufakis was caught on film telling off a police officer at Paris’ main air hub after a passport check.

“You are a disgrace to the French nation,” Varoufakis is heard saying to a French Border Police officer in footage posted on YouTube. The incident was filmed at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport after the officer who was checking passports at the exit ramp from an Athens flight allegedly pushed the former finance minister.

According to Varoufakis, he was blocked from exiting the ramp by a policeman who asked to see his passport. Despite doing as asked, he claims the officer left him almost no room to pass and he accidentally rubbed against him on the narrow ramp.

“The moment our elbows touched, he reacted violently. [He] manhandled me, using physical violence,” Varoufakis told AFP, adding that the officer then pushed him, snatched his passport, and told him to stand against the wall. The YouTube video doesn’t show the moment that Varoufakis was pushed, but it does show what happened afterwards.

“You are violent and you are rude. I don’t trust you… You are a problematic member of the police force, a disgrace to your nation,” Varoufakis can be heard saying as he stands against the wall. The officer tells the ex-finance minister to follow him, but he refuses. When another person asks why Varoufakis cannot leave, he says, “he does not let me!” pointing at the officer.

He then starts pacing up and down the ramp, telling the officer: “I will do what I want, I will pace up and down. You can stop me if you wish. I challenge you!” The officer appears to be holding Varoufakis’ passport throughout the exchange.

According to the Athens News Agency, Varoufakis was briefly detained after two more officers were called in to resolve the conflict, but was later released and given his passport back.

“I am formally requesting a formal apology from the French police,” Varoufakis told AFP. He then tweeted about the incident, saying that he was given an “idea” of the repression blossoming in the “decomposing” EU, which “lurks where you least expect it.” 

In turn, one of the officers said he plans to file a complaint against the former minister for insulting them.

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