Germany's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Vice-chancellor Gabriel gives neo-Nazi protesters the finger

Share this article

Vice-chancellor Gabriel gives neo-Nazi protesters the finger
Sigmar Gabriel shows the "Stinkefinger" Source: Youtube
10:18 CEST+02:00
Germany's Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel raised eyebrows Wednesday over a video of him showing the middle finger to a group of far-right protesters.

Gabriel was at a visit to Lower Saxony on Friday, when he was accosted by a group of masked protesters holding banners bearing the slogan "Traitor".

"Man, your father loved his country, and what have you done to it? You're destroying it," a protester could be heard saying on the video, in a reference to Gabriel's father, who was a Nazi.

The Social Democrat leader, who has publicly condemned his father as a "die-hard Nazi", turned to face the protesters with a smile, before making the vulgar gesture, which is German is called the Stinkefinger.

His party has confirmed the authenticity of the video posted on Facebook by a youth group linked to the neo-Nazi NPD.

Frauke Petry, the leader of populist party AfD, swiftly condemned Gabriel's gesture, calling him the "unworthy vice chancellor" in a Facebook post.

Gabriel is not the first Social Democrat leader to be seen making the gesture in public.

Former finance minister Peer Steinbrueck sparked a storm of derision and online ridicule in 2013 by allowing himself to be photographed making the vulgar middle-finger gesture.

Support for the Social Democratic Party has been falling in recent months, partly due to the rise in popularity of the AfD.

The AfD, founded on a eurosceptic platform three years ago, has vocally protested Germany's record refugee influx that brought more than one million asylum seekers to Europe's top economy last year alone.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article