BERLIN — A man who joined German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s official convoy without authorization was on drugs, according to media reports.

As Bild first reported, a driver entered Scholz’s motorcade on Wednesday evening while the leader was on his way to his government plane at Frankfurt Airport, after an appointment at the European Central Bank, and hugged him at the airport before bodyguards intervened.

On Friday, a government spokesperson confirmed the report stating that for Scholz, “it was not a big incident in the specific situation, just a surprisingly intimate embrace.”

The man, a 48-year-old Greek who lives in Hanau, had joined the motorcade — which was escorted by local police on motorcycles — around 10:30 p.m. in his private vehicle almost 20 kilometers from the airport, according to media reports.

His car was able to pass through the airport’s security barrier together with the convoy, despite having unauthorized license plates. When Scholz left his limousine on the tarmac, the driver rushed up to the chancellor, shook his hand and hugged him. Security sources told Spiegel the man told Scholz he wanted to “play some music” with him.

It was only at that moment that bodyguards and police officers became aware of the potentially threatening situation. A government spokesperson clarified on Friday that “the chancellor … did not feel threatened at any time.”

The man was able to get back into his car and smoke a cigarette before he was arrested, according to the report. He did not offer any resistance, and tested positive for drugs in a rapid test. The man told police he had ingested cocaine, Bild reported.

Proceedings have been initiated against the man for trespassing.

A spokesperson for the Federal Criminal Police Office, who is in charge of protecting the chancellor, said: “No one was hurt. The person was arrested without resistance by the Federal Police at Frankfurt Airport.”


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