02:31 GMT +320 July 2018
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    Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

    It's a Fake! German TV Host Admits Doctoring Greek Minister's Stinkefinger

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    German Satirical TV show host Jan Böhmermann has admitted doctoring video footage to show the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, apparently giving Germany the "Stinkefinger" gesture in the row over the Greek bailout.

    "My proposal was that Greece should simply announce that it is defaulting…and stick the finger to Germany and say 'you can now solve this problem by yourself'," Varoufakis says on the video, raising his middle finger.

    Confronted with the video, Varoufakis told German TV:

    "I have never given the finger ever."

    Varoufakis denied brandishing his middle finger — known in Germany as the "Stinkefinger" — during a lecture in Croatia where he said Greece should have defaulted in 2010 rather than accept a multi-billion euro bailout package.

    "The video was faked, without doubt," he told German news magazine Der Spiegel's online version on Monday.

    Jan Böhmermann, host of the satirical TV show Neo Magazin Royal, said he wondered how long it would be before he was asked if the footage shown was genuine. "Sorry, Mr Varoufakis, we won't do it again," Böhmermann said, admitting the production team had doctored the video.

    Varoufakis has regularly traded barbs with Germany, especially with his irascible counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, since the leftist Syriza party took power in January pledging to end austerity and renegotiate the bailout terms.

    Athens has also urged Germany to pay reparations for the wartime Nazi occupation of Greece, a demand Berlin has rejected.


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