Video footage has emerged that purports to show Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis giving Germany a rude gesture known as the ‘Stinkefinger.’
The fuss comes just days after the minister raised eyebrows by appearing in the French glossy magazine Paris Match enjoying a meal with his wife on the terrace of an upmarket flat overlooking the Acropolis in one of Athens’s most affluent areas.
“It’s his business anyway,” one man told euronews. “He is good looking, he has a beautiful lady, I don’t see what’s wrong with it.”
“We should judge him by his policies, not his lifestyle,” said a woman in Athens, “because we all expect something better. In the end it is the political result that counts.”
“In my view it is unacceptable for any politician to expose his private life in photo shoots for the press,” another woman told euronews.
Varoufakis has had a few run-ins with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, who many say plays the part of grumpy EU paymaster, since the leftist Syriza party took power in January pledging to end austerity and renegotiate Greece’s bailout terms.
Varoufakis denied holding up his middle finder during a lecture in Croatia where he said Greece should have defaulted in 2010 rather than accept a multi-billion euro bailout package.
“The video was faked, without doubt,” he told German news magazine Der Spiegel on Monday.
German broadcaster ARD, which aired the video on Sunday night, said it had seen “no sign of manipulation” but would have experts check it.