Red-faced politician stuck in ceremony digger

A German politician ended up trapped in a toppled-over 40-tonne digger at a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of a new road project. His minders pulled him out through a smashed window.

Red-faced politician stuck in ceremony digger
Photo: DPA

Bavarian state Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, had been invited to kick off construction of a new road in the rural Allgäu area.

He managed to get into the digger’s cabin without mishap, and was preparing to dig up the first clump of earth when the vehicle fell over, trapping Herrmann inside.

His two bodyguards and the digger driver rushed to help the 56-year-old out through the front window, which had smashed, local newspaper the Augsburger Allgemeine reported on Tuesday.

Paramedics rushed the ruffled politician to privacy, treating him for minor facial scratches and a bruised ego at the nearby house of Ulrich Netzer, the mayor of Kempten – who had been involved in organising the construction of the new road.

Herrmann, who has been Bavaria’s Interior Minister since 2007 and is a member of the Christian Social Union told the paper, “I’m fine, the shock is over.”

An emergency rescue helicopter circling overhead was given the all-clear and returned to base.

The road, known as the “Kempten Nordspange” has been opposed by residents, but was given the go -ahead by authorities who say it will improve the infrastructure of the area.

The Local/jcw

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‘A good thing’ for footballers to express values, says France’s PM

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - speaking in Berlin - said that footballers should be allowed to express their values, amid controversy over FIFA's stance against the 'OneLove' armband on the pitch.

'A good thing' for footballers to express values, says France's PM

“There are rules for what happens on the field but I think it’s a good thing for players to be able to express themselves on the values that we obviously completely share, while respecting the rules of the tournament,” said Borne at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Germany’s players made headlines before Wednesday’s shock loss to Japan when the team lined up for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths after FIFA’s threat to sanction players wearing the rainbow-themed armband.

Seven European nations, including Germany, had previously planned for their captains to wear the armband, but backed down over FIFA’s warning.

Following Germany’s action, Wales and the Netherlands have since come out to say they would not mirror the protest.

Borne’s visit to Germany was her first since she was named to her post in May.

Following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders signed an agreement for “mutual support” on “guaranteeing their energy supplies”.

Concrete measures outlined in the deal include France sending Germany gas supplies as Berlin seeks to make up for gaping holes in deliveries from Russia.

Germany meanwhile would help France “secure its electricity supplies over winter”, according to the document.

France had since 1981 been a net exporter of electricity to its neighbours because of its nuclear plants. But maintenance issues dogging the plants have left France at risk of power cuts in case of an extremely cold winter.

The two leaders also affirmed their countries’ commitment to backing Ukraine “to the end of” its conflict with invaders Russia.