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Greek Finance Minister denies giving the middle finger to Germany

A German tv station dug up the video of Yanis Varoufakis – but he says it’s been doctored.

A VIDEO SHOWING Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis giving the middle finger gesture to Germany does not appear to be fake, a German talk show said today after the Greek politician contested its authenticity.

The footage shown during the Guenther Jauch weekly talk show on Germany’s ARD channel late on Sunday prompted an immediate and vehement rebuttal by the maverick Greek minister who was a guest on the programme.

Varoufakis, who took part in a live discussion with other guests via a link from Athens, insisted on air that the video of him speaking at a 2013 event in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, had been “doctored”.

Source: Michael Lang/YouTube

Jauch, the host of the popular show that draws millions of viewers, announced at the end of the programme that the video would be examined to try to clear the matter up.

“As far as we know at this stage the editorial department of Guenther Jauch can determine no indication whatsoever of manipulation or falsification in the video shown during the live show,” it said in a statement Monday.

It said the video was being further checked by experts.

The video shows Varoufakis before he became finance minister talking about his debt-laden country and making the comment “stick the finger to Germany” as he makes the offensive gesture.

As he raises his finger, he says: “My proposal was that Greece should simply announce that it is defaulting, just like Argentina did, within the euro, in January 2010, and stick the finger to Germany and say well, you can now solve this problem by yourself”.

Greece and Germany, Europe’s paymaster, have been at loggerheads since Greece’s radical-left Syriza party came to power in January on promises of ending austerity and erasing most of the country’s massive debt.

- © AFP, 2015

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