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Thin-skinned minister gets spokesman to clap him on TV

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Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA
10:34 CET+01:00
Why did a solitary audience member clap everything the German Justice Minister said on the country's most popular talk show on Sunday? The TV presenter didn't take long to point it out.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas went on public broadcaster ARD to discuss the refugee crisis with political talk show Anne Will, featured during the prime time Sunday night spot of 9.45pm.

One audience member clapped loudly as Maas made an opening statement to the effect that closing Europe's internal borders wasn't a long-term solution to the crisis.

The minister then went on to say that Germany would push for a common European solution, even if it would be difficult to achieve.

Again enthusiastic clapping echoed out from a single seat in the crowd.

Perhaps emboldened by the continuous support, Maas said that the best way to solve the refugee crisis was to fight the causes of flight.

Again one audience member in the small studio started clapping.

At this point presenter Anne Will decided it was time to unmask the enthusiastic fan.

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"We also welcome Heiko Maas' spokesman who is always clapping the loudest," she said.

The camera spun around to the sheepish spin doctor and for the rest of the show he wasn't quite so noticeable with his support.

When Maas did later win applause from the crowd, Will couldn't resist pointing out: "Mr. Maas, this time you were loudly applauded - and not just from your press advisor."

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