‘Poor but sexy’: Varoufakis sets hearts throbbing in Germany

  • People
  • Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015

Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis may have failed to renegotiate Greece’s debts but the Germans sure love his ‘Bruce Willis’ looks.

It’s not easy being sexy in Germany, as Yanis Varoufakis, 53, Greece’s Finance Minister, discovers. Even though he’s in Berlin to talk about his troubled nation’s debt, the only things that the locals have noticed are his charm and masculine appearance. As a result, Varoufakis is now Germany’s latest heartthrob.

“Varoufakis is without doubt a man full of charisma,” says ZDF anchor Marietta Slomka on air. “Visually, he’s someone you could imagine starring in a film like Die Hard 6 – he’s an interesting character.” For her obvious crush on Varoufakis, Slomka was ridiculed by her colleague Oliver Welke, the host of the ZDF parody Heute Show. But even Welke has to admit: “He is an incredibly attractive man.”

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis wants Germany and the rest of Europe to pay attention to his country's colossal debts, but instead they are focusing on “his balding head, cool style and muscular Yamaha motorcycle”. – Reuters

Varoufakis’s casual tie-less appearance – especially the fact that he does not tuck his dress shirts in and leaves their tops unbuttoned – is an unlikely focus of news reports in Germany, an unusual angle in a country whose leaders have been firmly insisting on Greece fulfilling austerity pledges.

What makes Yanis Varoufakis a sex icon was a headline in conservative newspaper Die Welt over a story that raved about “his balding head, cool style and muscular Yamaha motorcycle”.

“Even though Greece’s debts are causing a lot of stress, their new finance minister is anything but dull,” writes Die Welt, a daily newspaper close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives. “A star is born,” it adds. “He hasn’t forced any of the creditors to their knees but the economics professor is shaking up the suits in Europe with a casual appearance and cool stare.”

Varoufakis, seen arriving for his meeting with Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at Downing Street in London. – Reuters

Stern magazine writes that Varoufakis’s appearance reminded Germans of Greek heroes immortalised in marble statues, even though media elsewhere in Europe have said he looked more like a nightclub bouncer.

“He rattles around Athens on a big, black motorcycle, never tucks his shirts in and radiates a sort of classical masculinity that you only usually see in Greek statues,” writes Stern. “He’s not one of the world’s most respected economists, but a man whose good looks separate him from all the grey suits.”

“He’s someone you take notice of,” writes Focus newsweekly. 

Germany’s Stylebook fashion magazine also took notice. “His cool style is something you can’t miss,” writes Stylebook under a story entitled Poor but sexy. – Reuters

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