A spokesman for German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble resigned unexpectedly on Tuesday after his boss berated him at a press conference, adding to controversy surrounding the outspoken minister who recently irked US authorities when he criticized the Federal Reserve’s decision to launch another round of bond buyingand called the policy "clueless."
Spokesman Michael Offer said in a statement it had become clear that he did not enjoy Schäuble’s full support and referred to the press briefing last week, when the finance minister publicly chastized him for not getting a press kit to waiting reporters in time before the minister’s appearance.
“I said 20 minutes ago, it would be nice if the figures could be distributed,” Schäuble told his spokesman as the assembled press corps looked on.
"Don’t talk. Just make sure the figures are distributed,” he snapped.
Watch the full press conference in German on YouTube
The minister then left the press conference about tax numbers, saying he would return once the press kit had been distributed.
The incident made headlines in Germany just days after Schäuble sharply criticized the Federal Reserve’s decision to pump an additional $600 billion into US government bonds to boost the economy.
Footage from German broadcaster ZDF made its way onto YouTube, where it has already generated more than 500,000 clicks.
When a grinning Schäuble returned 20 minutes later without Offer, he said he would wait for the spokesman to come back.
“He should enjoy this shambles himself,” the minister said, before Offer reappeared.
Schäuble later told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag he had “maybe overreacted.”