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 airport terminal.
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
"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."
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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
Protasiewicz had earlier this week defended himself, saying the
customs official provoked him by addressing him rudely and shoving
(Reporting by Christian Lowe)
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