Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and his wife are coming under fire for appearing in a photo spread that shows off their posh Athens home, with critics angry at their lavish lifestyle being put on public display while the country is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The French magazine Paris Match's
photos show Varoufakis and his wife, artist Danae Stratou, at what a translated version of the article describes as being their "love nest at the foot of the Acropolis."
However, the article says the couple "does not have much time to coo" because he must "fly" to "renegotiate the bailout plan enjoyed by Greece and prevent the bankruptcy of his country."
Matina Stevis, a Greek reporter who is currently working for The Wall Street Journal in Nairobi, tweeted that she has never seen her own Facebook wall so angry:
, a professor for Athens University, earlier this week said he is convinced the country's six-week-old reform government is doing everything needed to secure funding and avoid bankruptcy.
Other European finance ministers say there are mixed messages, dawdling and lack of details over the Greece financial situation. And France's Michel Sapin, whose government had made the most conciliatory approaches, expressed frustration with Varoufakis, saying that the time is past for "declarations of intentions or slogans," but figures and verified data are needed.
Greek is seeking an aid payment of around 7 billion euros, or $7.5 billion in American dollars, and there is speculation that without that money, Greece's accounts could be empty by the end of March.
And the dire predictions are causing Twitter to explode after the news and photos of the finance minister and his wife enjoying their posh home came out, reports Business Insider
One twitter user, Yannis Koutsomitis commented about the couple's "white wine socialism:"
But his comment was tame compared to many others, reports Quartz.com,
noting that some tweeted Photoshopped photos of the happy couple among many dire situations, including Greek street riots:
Or dressed as the Roman emperor Nero and his wife Claudia Octavia in front of a burning down Athens, poking fun of him as he was like the emperor who played his fiddle while Rome burned:
But there are still some who defend the photo shoot, reports Quartz.com, noting that the finance minister and his party took control of the government with promises to restore Greece's dignity.
Further, defenders say the scenes in the photo shoot are not that lavish or unusual for Greece's middle class, and that they show people getting on with their daily lives, even with the economic disaster looming.
though, is already a divisive figure in the troubled country and its bankruptcy proceedings. Fellow ministers were angered when he arrived 35 minutes late at one of last month's meetings, and was carrying a camera, although the talks were being held in private.
And when the talks broke down, Varoufakis termed the euro area's proposal to extend existing bailout commitments "absurd" and "unacceptable," statements that further angered ministers who have told him to make his language less divisive.
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