Jacek Protasiewicz, by his own account, drank two bottles of
wine on a flight from Warsaw to Frankfurt, and then got into an
argument with the customs officer as he tried to leave the
The incident heaped embarrassment on Polish Prime Minister
Donald Tusk, who has tried to build a new partnership with
Berlin by putting to one side animosities that still linger
after Germany's occupation of Poland in World War Two.
A statement from Tusk's Civic Platform party said Protasiewicz
had informed the prime minister of his resignation from his
roles as head of the party campaign for the European parliament
election in May, and as leader of the Civic Platform faction in
the European parliament.
"The resignation was accepted," the statement said.
It was not immediately clear if Protasiewicz would be able to
continue in another role, as vice president of the European
Parliament. Tusk said this week that Protasiewicz's behavior at
the airport had been unacceptable.
In a statement issued through Poland's state news agency on
Friday, Protasiewicz offered apologies to anyone for whom "my
inappropriate behavior caused distress."
Germany's Bild tabloid quoted eyewitnesses as saying
Protasiewicz had been drunk when he landed at Frankfurt airport,
shouted "Heil Hitler!" at the customs officer and asked: "Have
you ever been to Auschwitz?"
Protasiewicz had earlier this week defended himself, saying the
customs official provoked him by addressing him rudely and
(Reporting by Christian Lowe)
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