German media rave over Greek finance minister's charm
GREEK Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has become an improbable heart-throb in Germany, where his demands to renegotiate the nation's debt fell on deaf ears but his charm and masculine appearance have not gone unnoticed.
Germany's ZDF public television even lampooned its own news anchor for enthusiastically comparing the minister with Hollywood tough guy Bruce Willis, while Stern magazine published a gushing article on Mr Varoufakis's "classical masculinity".
"Mr Varoufakis is without doubt a man full of charisma," ZDF anchor Marietta Slomka said on air. "Visually, he's someone you could imagine starring in a film like Die Hard 6 - he's an interesting character."
The host of the ZDF parody Heute Show, Oliver Welke, ridiculed his "lovestruck" colleague over the 53-year-old Mr Varoufakis, but admitted: "He is an incredibly attractive man."
Mr Varoufakis's casual tie-less appearance - especially the fact that he does not tuck his dress shirts in and leaves their tops unbuttoned - was 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," wrote Die Welt, a daily close to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Stern magazine wrote that Mr Varoufakis' appearance reminded Germans of Greek heroes immortalised in marble statues, even though media elsewhere in Europe have said he looked more like a night club 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," Stern wrote.