Hugs for Scholz : the embarrassment of the chancellor's security
On the runway at Frankfurt airport, minutes before Scholz was about to board a government plane, an unknown man walked through security and ran up to hug the German chancellor.
The 48-year-old man, who is said to have a Greek surname, had simply joined the chancellor's convoy in his private car. At the airfield, he ran up to Scholz, hugged him, held him close and didn't let go, BILD writes.
In addition to being a delicate moment for the man Olaf Scholz, this is also a gap in the personal protection of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. After all, the Chancellor is one of the most threatening people in political Berlin. Threats against public officials are not uncommon, but it is often difficult for security forces to determine when threats become concrete threats.
The chancellor is one of the few who has round-the-clock police protection. That's right, says terrorism researcher Peter Neumann. "Because of his constant prominent presence in the media, the chancellor attracts the attention of many people, and he is a target for political extremists as well as the mentally ill.".
The extent to which attacks by mentally ill people can be serious is illustrated by the attempted assassination of CDU politician Wolfgang Schäuble during the 1990 election campaign. The attacker fired several shots at Schäuble at close range, piercing his spinal cord. Since then, Schäuble has been paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.
"Such a prominent person, who has almost daily contact with the public through his work, is at particular risk," says Neumann. "There are always situations you can't control 100 per cent, especially in public speaking, when you can't always keep an eye on every person."
On Wednesday evening, the Chancellor had just celebrated the 25th birthday of the European Central Bank (ECB). Together with Finance Minister Christian Lindner, he leaves the ECB building and heads towards the airport. He and his entourage get into armoured limousines. Hessian police officers on patrol cars and motorcycles guard the government convoy. The chancellor's bodyguards sit in two official cars.
On the way, a private car suddenly pulls up behind the last patrol car. It was driven by a man who would later say that he thought it was a big family wedding. The police apparently do not notice the car, which is not part of the government motorcade.
The Fraport guards let it through the airport barrier on the instructions of the BKA, even though the number plate was not registered in advance like all the others. The convoy proceeded to the government Airbus aircraft.
All members of the delegation board the plane except Scholz. He makes another public phone call in his car. It takes several minutes. He gets out of the limousine, wants to thank the police and, as is often the case, take a picture. A stranger gets out of his car and suddenly rushes to Scholz, shaking his hand and holding him to his chest. Only when the man let go of Scholz again did the guards recognise the dangerous situation. They were shocked.
The chancellor reacted rather coldly, but then took a photo with the Hessian police.