Europe

Merkel's deputy wishes he'd given neo-Nazis both fingers

FILE - In this June 29, 2015 file picture Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel briefs the media  about the Greece crisis, at the chancellery in Berlin. Germany’s economy minister said Sunday Aug. 28, 2016 that free trade talks between the European Union and the United States have failed, citing lack of progress on any of the major chapters of the long-running negotiations.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)

FILE - In this June 29, 2015 file picture Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel briefs the media about the Greece crisis, at the chancellery in Berlin. Germany‚Äôs economy minister said Sunday Aug. 28, 2016 that free trade talks between the European Union and the United States have failed, citing lack of progress on any of the major chapters of the long-running negotiations. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's second-in-command has only one regret after flipping the bird at a group of neo-Nazis recently.

He wishes he'd shown them both middle fingers, not one.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel received both criticism and applause for his unambiguous gesture of disdain toward far-right protesters in the town of Salzgitter earlier this month.

A video posted online showed about 10 far-right protesters hurling abuse at Gabriel and praising his late father, an ardent believer in Nazism.

Gabriel told public broadcaster ZDF in an interview broadcast Sunday that "I made just one mistake, I didn't use both hands."

In recent months, far-right groups have repeatedly interrupted meetings between German politicians and voters to protest the government's refugee policy.