Deutsche Welle, Germany's international public broadcaster, saw its interview programme Conflict Zone get even more heated than normal this week when speaking to Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell. The minister went as far as getting up to leave the interview, before returning after talking to aides.
Borrell's decision, especially unusual for an EU minister speaking to a major broadcaster, has been emphasised online by the programme. They've even shared the most notable clips with Spanish subtitles on their English Twitter feed, and retweeted comments from other users on the incident.
"Si continuamos así, paro la entrevista, ¿me entiende?— DW Conflict Zone (@dw_conflictzone) 28 de març de 2019
El ministro de exteriores de España, @JosepBorrellF, detuvo la entrevista con #dwZone pero luego volvió a concluirla tras hablar con sus asesores.
Para más información 👉https://t.co/LveMWy4nxA pic.twitter.com/R69sD1BOPl
El presentador de @dw_conflictzone deixa clar al ministre espanyol que les preguntes no les posa l'entrevistat. Tim Sebastian és un veterà que havia presentat @BBCHARDtalk. Fa tres anys també va posar contra les cordes la populista ultrapatriòtica i líder de l'AFD, Frauke Petry.— Oriol Serra (@oriolserra) 28 de març de 2019
Translation (tweet from Catalan journalist Oriol Serra, retweeted by Conflict Zone): The presenter of DW Conflict Zone makes it clear to the Spanish minister that it's not the interviewee who asks the questions. Tim Sebastian is a veteran who had presented BBC HARDtalk. Three years ago, he also put the ultra-patriotic populist and leader of AfD, Frauke Petry, against the ropes.
#Spain’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, the EU and Cooperation @JosepBorrellF, didn’t even try to answer the question of why Spain’s enforcement of foreign bribery is so low on @dw_conflictzone yesterday. 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/3AvzkGesAW— Transparency Int'l (@anticorruption) 28 de març de 2019
The interview was conducted in Madrid by British journalist Tim Sebastian, who previously spent a decade as the first presenter of the BBC's flagship interview programme HARDtalk, during which time he was twice named the Royal Television Society's Interviewer of the Year.
Conflict Zone also made headlines three years ago for another hard-hitting interview, on that occasion with the then-leader of far-right German party AfD, Frauke Petry.