2015
07/28

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Finance

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Greece’s new finance minister: Change in style, if not substance

If sartorial style is anything to go by, the point man for Greece’s financial crisis has switched from leather biker jackets to corduroys and fuzzy sweaters.

But that does not mean Greeces new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos will necessarily cave in to the suits in Brussels.

Hours after the tough-looking and even tougher-talking Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation Monday, the 55-year-old Oxford-educated Tsakalotos was named Greeces new finance minister, tasked with jumpstarting his countrys stalled EU-IMF talks.

Born in Holland into a prominent Greek family, raised in Britain and an alumnus of Londons elite St. Pauls, Tsakalotos is made of softer, more polished stuff than his predecessor.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras certainly hopes his new finance minister will not ruffle EU feathers the way Varoufakis did. Nor is the mild mannered economist likely to have headlines proclaiming him a sex icon as a German conservative paper described the athletic Varoufakis, who seemed allergic to tucking in his shirt or wearing a tie while in office.

But if EU finance ministers were expecting a pushover to replace Varoufakis, they will be sorely disappointed in the weeks and months to come.

Tsakalotos might have a milder disposition, but he shares Varoufakiss and the ruling Syriza partys — leftist economic ideals. As a prominent British business editor tweeted, New Greek FinMin is Tsakalotos. Brilliant man. My view (not consensus) more hardline than @yanisvaroufakis who is a passionate pro-European

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