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Berlin expects serious policies, not formal attire, from Greeks

Reuters


BERLIN (Reuters) - Greece's casually-attired finance minister can dress as he pleases when he visits Berlin this week, German officials said on Wednesday, provided he offers a sharp account of his government's plans.

Yanis Varoufakis has attracted as much attention for his style as for his policies as he tours European capitals to drum up support for the new leftist-led Greek government's bid to renegotiate its debts and scrap austerity measures prescribed by Germany.

"The German government has never judged its interlocutors by whether they are wearing a tie, a leather jacket or a classic jacket," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said when asked by reporters about the "new style" in Athens.

"It makes no difference to us. What we expect from the new Greek government is to present us their economic and financial strategy."

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A spokesman for Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who is scheduled to meet Varoufakis on Thursday, said there was no dress code for visitors.

Varoufakis wore an open-necked shirt and a billowing black leather coat to visit the dapper, suited British finance minister George Osborne on Monday. His prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, also eschews a tie and received one as a gift from his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi.

(Reporting by Stephen Brown; editing by John Stonestreet)

 
 
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