Scholz “never felt threatened,” said a spokesman. But the fact that a man can rush up to the chancellor and hug him is, of course, a serious glitch. Those in charge also have questions.
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser has announced consequences after the security breach involving Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “That must not happen,” said the SPD politician. One will now “work up very precisely what was wrong in order to be able to turn things off as far as possible”.
A driver had entered a security area at Frankfurt Airport unnoticed on Wednesday evening and hugged Scholz. The driver had joined the Chancellor’s convoy without anyone noticing. It is not yet clear how he was able to do this – despite the unregistered license plate.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry described the process as “naturally unacceptable”. It is “not entirely clear at first glance where the error lies”. Therefore, the situation is analyzed. Security measures by the state police, federal police and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) are affected.
According to the assessment of ARD security expert Michael Götschenberg Mistakes happened in two places: The visit to Frankfurt am Main was a “routine appointment”, which is why the security forces were apparently not as attentive as they should have been, he said tagesschau24.
The second mistake happened when entering the airport area. The last car in the column is also responsible for “occasionally looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure that nobody has joined the column”. Apparently both went wrong.
Federal Police: From our point of view, we did the right thing
The managing director of the Federal Association of the Security Industry, which is also responsible for private bodyguards, Martin Hildebrandt, said: “In 25 years I haven’t heard of anything like this. It’s a disaster for bodyguards. Something must have gone wrong beforehand.”
The BKA did not want to provide any further information “for reasons of police tactics”. Airport operator Fraport said on request that the incident was being investigated. A spokeswoman for the federal police at Frankfurt Airport said: “From our point of view, the federal police acted correctly.”
“Worse could have happened”
Scholz was at the European Central Bank on Wednesday – on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the ECB. From there he was driven to the airport. The man had joined the convoy. According to a report in the “Bild” newspaper, when Scholz left his car at the airport, he rushed towards him, shook his hand and hugged him. According to the report, the bodyguards of the BKA and the police officers present only noticed him when the man ran towards Scholz and finally arrested him. Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit confirmed the report as “essentially correct”.
According to deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner, Scholz himself is calm about the incident. The Chancellor “never felt threatened”. Scholz had planned neither an encounter nor an embrace. “It was therefore surprising for him, but not a major incident in the specific situation,” said Büchner. Nevertheless, questions arose that now need to be carefully clarified. After all, “worse could have happened”.