A video that appears to show Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis giving the finger to Germany has become the centre of a head-spinning debate over whether it is real or not.
Most people think the video is real.
German comedian Jan Böhmermann has claimed that he faked the video of Varoufakis giving the finger to Germany.
This YouTube video of Böhmermann’s TV show claims to show the footage was edited to show Varoufakis raising his finger when he did not.
Varoufakis has also claimed the video is a fake.
But both videos — one in which Varoufakis uses a finger, and one in which he gestures innocently with his hand — look legit. Neither looks edited. Yet only one can be real, and one must be fake.
So we’ve made gifs of both videos to let you decide which is real and which is fake. Scroll down to see them.
The original video shows Varoufakis speaking at a conference in Croatia in 2013, before he was a minister of Greece. In his speech he suggests that Greece should default by itself and leave the Eurozone. He said: “Sticking the finger to Germany and say well, you can now solve this problem by yourself.” He waves his hand while he speaks. But did Varoufakis raise his finger as well?
The whole controversy is incredibly bizarre: Varoufakis denies it, and claims the video was “doctored.” But he has never presented a version in which he doesn’t raise his finger.
German newspaper Die Bild bought the theory that the original video was authentic, and its Creative Director of Video said he believed the video was impossible to be faked. That would mean the finger video is authentic, and the German comedy video is merely a fake used to jump on the joke.
The latest twist is that Böhmermann’s broadcasting company, ZDF, says that Boöhermann’s show is satire and that the original, real video does indeed show Varoufakis giving the finger, Der Spiegel reports.
Here are the relevant sections of both videos. Be warned: This is surreal and confusing. Pay particular attention to Varoufakis’s lips: You can see him saying “stick the middle finger to Germany” in both cases.
In the “finger” video, his finger is raised just at the moment he says those words:
Now here is the “no finger” version from Böhmermann.
In this version — if it is a fake — the comedy show appears to have edited into the video a new arm making different gestures right at the moment Varoufakis says “stick the middle finger to Germany.” This gif shows a period of time a second or two longer than the other one:
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