Was this video of Yanis Varoufakis giving Germany the finger faked?

Billy Ehrenberg
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'Can you believe this guy?' (Source: Getty)

It was the finger heard around the Eurozone: charismatic Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis appearing to flip the bird at Germany at a time when relations between the two countries couldn't be much tenser.

Fears of a Grexit and demands for war reparations were still high on the agenda, and a flippant insult from a dexterous financial maverick was not what the austerity doctor ordered.

Now, however, it appears the footage was doctored by a German television presenter. Jan Bohmermann, who presents satirical programme Neo Magazin Royale, said he had doctored the footage, filmed at a conference in Zagreb, Croatia, and would have said so sooner – had anyone actually asked him.

That may be technically true, but Varoufakis, a guest on the programme via video link, was incensed. He instantly denied "giving Germany the finger" in a two-year-old video. He claimed the video was doctored and he had never done such a thing. Nevertheless it caused a few raised eyebrows from the Eurozone’s austere economic powerhouse.

“Sorry Mr. Varoufakis,” Bohmermann said. “we won’t do it again.”