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


BERLIN (AP) — German police have been left red-faced after a member of the public was able to slip into a VIP convoy for Chancellor Olaf Scholz and then give him a hearty hug as he prepared to board a plane at Frankfurt Airport.

Tabloid newspaper Bild reported Friday that Scholz’s bodyguards only realized their mistake later, and chased the man down.

In a statement, federal police said the man was detained. Nobody was hurt but an investigation into the security breach has been launched, police said.

Scholz’s office confirmed the incident, which happened late Wednesday as Scholz made his way back to Berlin following a celebration for the 25th anniversary of the European Central Bank.

“The encounter and hug at Frankfurt Airport (…) was indeed not planned by the chancellor,” Scholz’s spokesperson Wolfang Buechner told reporters in Berlin.

“As such it was a surprise to him, but it wasn’t a big deal in this particular situation,” he added. “The chancellor didn’t feel threatened at any point.”

Buechner said Scholz continues to have “full confidence in the work of the police. Nevertheless there are questions surrounding this incident and they will be carefully investigated.”



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