Man joins VIP convoy, hugs German chancellor; security breach under investigation

BERLIN: German police turned red after a member of the public was able to get into the Chancellor’s VIP convoy Olaf Scholz and then gave him a warm hug as he prepared to board the plane at Frankfurt airport.
The Bild tabloid reported on Friday that Scholz’s bodyguards only realized their mistake later and went after the man.
In a statement, federal police said the man was in custody. Police said no one was injured but an investigation into the security breach has been launched.
Scholz’s office confirmed the incident, which occurred late Wednesday when Scholz on the way back to Berlin after its 25th anniversary European Central Bank.
“The meeting and hug at Frankfurt airport (…) was actually not planned by the prime minister,” a Scholz spokesman said. Wolfang Buechner told reporters in Berlin. He said the incident “was a surprise to him” but that the German leader “didn’t feel threatened at any point”.
Scholz himself downplayed the incident when asked about it at a press conference in Estonia the following Friday.
“As for the question of people saying hello and hello to me, that’s never particularly surprising to me — it’s completely normal and I don’t feel that the situation is too dramatic.” I said. Emphasizing the possible consequences, he added: “The police do a great job and I feel that I am in safe hands.”
Despite that confidence, Buechner said that “there are doubts surrounding this incident and they will be investigated carefully”.


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