Greek football player Giorgos Katidis has been banned for life from playing for the national team after making a Nazi salute.
AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis, 20, made the gesture to celebrate his winning goal during a Saturday match.
The Greek football federation called it “a severe provocation” that insulted “all the victims of Nazi bestiality”.
Giorgos Katidis denied he gave a Nazi salute.
“I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant,” Giorgos Katidis said on his Twitter account.
Greek football player Giorgos Katidis has been banned for life from playing for the national team after making a Nazi salute
Girgos Katidis – a former captain of Greece’s under-19 team – was fiercely criticized on social media for the salute after scoring the winner in AEK’s 2-1 victory over Veria in the Olympic stadium on Saturday.The player insisted he was simply pointing at a team mate in the stands.
The club have asked him to explain himself at a board meeting next week.
AEK’s German coach Ewald Lienen has backed Giorgos Katidis.
“He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. He most likely saw such a salute on the internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means,” Ewald Lienen said, according to Reuters news agency.
Italian newspaper Il Giornale, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has caused controversy by printing a front page headline which said “Fourth Reich” above a picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The picture in Il Giornale also showed Chancellor Angela Merkel raising her right arm in salute, a gesture associated with the Nazi salute used by Hitler’s followers.
The article, which was published on Friday, has heightened a bitter war of words between Italy and Germany over the handling of the ongoing Euro crisis.
The angry article attacked tough talking Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that her intransigence had brought “us and Europe to its knees” adding that “Italy is no longer in Europe but in the Fourth Reich.”
It went on to say: “In the First Reich, Germany also wanted the title Emperor of Rome and in the next two they used their own means again against the states of Europe, two world wars and millions of dead, obviously this was not enough to quieten German egomania.
“Once again it has surfaced but this time not with the use of cannon, this time it’s the Euro.
“The Germans believe it’s theirs and we have to submit, surrender, hand ourselves over to the new Kaiser Angela Merkel who wants to rule in our own house.”
Il Giornale, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has caused controversy by printing a front page headline which said “Fourth Reich” above a picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel
It is not the first time that Il Giornale has been at the centre of controversy with Germany – two months ago after Italy beat Germany in the Euro 2012 semi final they printed a picture of Chancellor Angela Merkel below the headline: “Ciao, ciao culona” which translates as “Bye bye lard arse.”
Last year it was alleged that Silvio Berlusconi, who stepped down as prime minister last November, had been taped calling the German leader “culona” although he has insisted they had a good working relationship and are still in touch – claims which have been denied in Berlin.
Germany has been at loggerheads with Italy over the handling of the ongoing Eurozone crisis and accusing Rome of not doing enough to get its finances in order to resolve the single currency problem which has been dragging on for two years.
Newspapers in Germany have repeatedly attacked the southern European economies of Greece, Spain and Italy for their poor performances and bail outs offered to them.
Il Giornale has repeatedly accused current Italian technocrat prime minister Mario Monti, of not doing enough to stand up to Germany, comparing him to Neville Chamberlain who famously declared in 1938 he had “secured peace in our time” after holding talks with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler only for war to break out the following year.
In an interview with Germany weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, Mario Monti called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to show greater flexibility on how the European Union tackles the eurozone crisis and suggested there could be a backlash if this does not occur.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly argued that the only way to restore confidence in the under-fire single currency in the long term is for eurozone countries to show budget discipline and concede sovereignty to achieve greater fiscal integration.
But Mario Monti said that “more flexibility” had to be given to eurozone countries who are trying to put their economic houses in order for Italy’s current policy of rigor and tough economic reforms to “have a future”.
He added that he had told Chancellor Angela Merkel he was very worried about “the growing resentment in the Italian parliament against Europe, against the euro and against the Germans”.
Mario Monti also added that leaders should not let themselves be tied down by the domestic agendas of their national parliaments in EU negotiations and said: “If governments let themselves be bound completely by the decisions of their parliaments without maintaining their own scope for negotiation, Europe is more likely to break up than it is to see closer integration.”
But within hours of the interview Chancellor Angela Merkel and German MPs hit back at Mario Monti.
Georg Streiter, a spokesman for the German leader, said: “The chancellor’s opinion is that we in Germany have always done well with the right balance between parliamentary support and the participation of parliament.”
While Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, said: “Parliamentary checks on European policy are beyond any debate. We need to strengthen, not weaken, democratic legitimization in Europe.”
Mario Monti is due to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel later this month in Berlin to again discuss the Eurozone crisis and today markets were positive as the spread between German and Italian bonds dropped.
A German dignitary at the Olympic Opening Ceremony appeared to greet his country’s athletes with a Nazi salute.
The elderly man was caught on video repeatedly extending his right arm back and forth prompting a few awkward stares from members of the crowd.
Bizarrely he was sitting in front of Boris Johnson and Camilla Parker-Bowles who looked bemused at first before bursting into laughter.
Meanwhile a Conservative MP, who was demoted after attending a reportedly Nazi-themed stag party, appeared to describe the Olympic Opening Ceremony as “leftie multi-cultural crap”.
The comments, claiming the ceremony was more left wing than that which opened the 2008 Beijing Games in Communist China, appeared in a Twitter account purporting to be that of Aidan Burley, Tory MP for Cannock Chase.
The opening section showcased British history, including the creation of the NHS and the Jarrow march, a 1936 protest against unemployment in the North East.
A German dignitary at the Olympic Opening Ceremony appeared to greet his country's athletes with a Nazi salute
Two tweets were posted from @AidanBurleyMP, saying: “The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?”
A second tweet read: “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!”
Downing Street distanced itself from the comments, with a senior source saying: “We do not agree with him.”
The tweets, widely repeated, caused an avalanche of criticism on the social networking site including from a fellow Conservative, Croydon MP Gavin Barwell.
“@AidanBurleyMP with respect, us Londoners are rather proud of the diversity of our city £nothingleftwingaboutit,” he tweeted in reply.
Aidan Burley lost his job as a parliamentary private secretary after media reports of the party on December 3 last year in a restaurant in the French Alpine resort of Val Thorens, at which one guest is alleged to have dressed in an SS uniform and others are said to have chanted Nazi slogans.
The Cannock Chase MP has repeatedly apologized for being present at the event, but said in December: “I do not believe I have broken any French law and have distanced myself from the behavior of other people on the stag.”
A later tweet from the account said the previous comments had been ”misunderstood”.
“Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself,” it said.
The event, in which the Queen had a starring role, featured a diverse cast including James Bond star Daniel Craig and JK Rowling, merging music, dance and special effects into a spectacular opening.
The world-wide audience was treated to a greatest hits medley of British pop over the decades with bursts of the Beatles, the Jam, Sex Pistols and Dizzee Rascal.
There were also excerpts from the Kinks, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Mud’s Tiger Feet before Emeli Sande sang the cup final classic Abide With Me.
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