Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis may not be getting the country’s lenders to relent but he’s got a lot of women swooning.
The almost-bald, tieless, motorcycle-driving tough-talking hardliner has even touched the hearts of women in Germany, which is locked in a duel with him over how to deal with Greece’s debt.
While his critics decry his looks as akin to a professional wrestler or nightclub bouncer, some admirers are smitten, including a female TV journalist in Spain who drew a big heart of love for him with her wish to be, ahem, taken further.
Germany’s ZDF public television even lampooned its own news anchor for enthusiastic comparing the minister with Hollywood tough guy Bruce Willis, while Stern magazine published a gushing article on Varoufakis’s “classical masculinity,” Reuters reported.
“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 Varoufakis but admitted: “He is an incredibly attractive man.”
“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 as Varoufakis has taken on the air of a rebel challenging strict German authority.
That has him a hero to man Greeks as well who’ve been under the heel of harsh austerity measures demanded by Merkel in return for Germany putting up much of the 240 billion euros ($272 billion) in two bailout packages that Varoufakis and Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras want to revise.
“A star is born,” Die Welt said. “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.”
Stern magazine wrote that Varoufakis’s appearance reminded Germans of Greek heroes immortalized 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.
“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,” wrote Focus newsweekly.
Germany’s Stylebook fashion magazine also took notice. “His cool style is something you can’t miss,” Stylebook wrote under a story entitled “poor but sexy”.