Maverick Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis in Paris airport row

Sun, 2019-07-14 07:57

ATHENS: Maverick Greek economist and former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on Saturday accused French police of “violent” behavior over a passport check at Paris’ main airport.
Varoufakis said he had just landed at Charles de Gaulle airport on a flight from Athens when a police officer standing near the plane ramp asked to see his passport.
Varoufakis said he complied, but claims the officer then stuck his elbows out as he tried to pass.
“The moment our elbows touched, he reacted violently,” the economist said.
“(He) manhandled me, using physical violence,” Varoufakis said, adding that the officer pushed him, grabbed his passport and told him to stand against the wall.
In a video of the scene, apparently taken by a passenger, Varoufakis tells the officer: “You are a disgrace to the French nation… you blocked my way and then pushed me.”
“I am not following you… I do not trust you. You are violent, and you are rude. I want to speak to a superior officer,” he says, irately pacing up and down the corridor.
“You are a problematic member of the police force. A disgrace to your nation. So, bring somebody else here,” he says.
Two additional superior officers had to be summoned before Varoufakis’ passport was eventually returned.
“I am formally requesting a formal apology from the French police,” he said.
One of the officers said he also plans to lodge a complaint against Varoufakis.
Airport officials could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.
A former finance minister under leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras in 2015, Varoufakis last week became a member of Greece’s parliament, one of nine lawmakers elected by his anti-austerity MeRA25 party in general elections.

Main category: