A stranger was able to join Olaf Scholz’s convoy to the airport, drive on to the tarmac in front of the government plane and hug the German chancellor.
The unidentified man, who has since been arrested, was able to get out of his car and give Mr Scholz a hug without being blocked by the Chancellor’s bodyguards.
The incident occurred on Wednesday evening when Mr Scholz was returning to Berlin from a celebration of the 25th birthday of the European Central Bank at its Frankfurt headquarters.
Mr Scholz, 64, was travelling with finance minister Christian Linder to the airport in his heavily armoured limousine.
The car was part of a convoy that included the chancellor’s bodyguards and several police cars and motorbikes.
Private car joins motorcade
On the short journey from the inner city to the airport a private car joined the back of the motorcade without drawing the attention of the officers, Bild newspaper reports.
The car was then able to pass through airport security despite its licence plate not being registered with authorities at Germany’s largest air hub.
When the cars halted on the runway Mr Linder entered the government plane directly but Mr Scholz stayed behind while he took a call.
He stepped out of the car and went to take some photos with the police who had been guarding him, the tabloid reports.
At this point the stranger stepped up and hugged the chancellor without his bodyguards noticing the danger.
Mr Scholz does not appear to have been aware of the security breach until after it happened.
“For Olaf Scholz, it wasn’t a big incident in the specific situation, just a surprisingly intimate hug. Only in retrospect did it become apparent what could have happened,” an insider told Bild.
Immediately after the incident police realised that the man was not part of the delegation and arrested him.
The man is said to have told officers that he believed the motorcade was part of a wedding celebration.
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