• Germany edition
 
Germany soccer coach to sweet-talk Greeks
Photo: DPA

Germany soccer coach to sweet-talk Greeks

Published: 28 Mar 2013 07:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2013 07:09 GMT+01:00

Germany has enlisted the help of popular football coach Otto Rehhagel – who led Greece to victory at the Euro 2004 – in a charm offensive on Athens aimed at improving frayed ties between the two countries.

Many Greeks hold Germany responsible for the harsh austerity measures imposed since the onset of the economic crisis in 2010, while some Germans have expressed resentment over the Greek bailouts, causing tensions between the two nations.

Rehhagel – reportedly hand-picked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who believes his personality and popularity in Greece can help improve Germany's image – is part of a special team which arrived in Athens this week.

On Tuesday, he met Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni, the ministry said in a statement.

The 74-year-old was also given an award for his contribution to Greek sports, state broadcaster NET reported.

"We [Germany and Greece] are connected by friendship and a common culture," he told journalists before attending a friendly football match.

"Whatever happens, Greeks will remain our friends. We have to help countries that are down on their luck," he added.

Rehhagel told German daily Bild earlier this month that he knew his name was "very positively portrayed in Greece."

"After all, we won the Euro 2004 and nobody thought it possible. So it is with pleasure that I will go to encourage my friends in Greece," he was quoted as saying.

AFP/mb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:05 March 28, 2013 by Bigfoot76
Greece is entitled to its opinion but I am more from the school of thought that you never bite the hand that feeds you.

On a different note however, this will reflect poorly either on Greece or on Merkel depending on if it works or not. If this ploy works it shows the Greeks to be simple minded people who do not actually care about their values and beliefs, if it does not work then it shows that Angela Merkel THOUGHT that the Greeks were simple minded and that they do not really care about their values and beliefs. Someone is going to look bad either way.
10:20 March 28, 2013 by KarOTTO
Loud message to the lazy Greeks: You can only succeed if you are coached by Germany. The good news for the Greeks (and apparently for the German taxpayers who pay the bills) is that, in order to take his messenger role, Mr Rehhagel had to pay his 40,000 euro income tax debt to Greece owed since the times he was offering his service to Greek National Football team.
Today's headlines
German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd