German FA Minister Guido Westerwelle advised BILD journalists to visit Greece on vacation when he suggested they are being a little harsh on us. It was only one month ago when the German politician made this recommendation, and it seems German citizens are really obedient, since BILD director Kai Diekmann is already on a Greek island.
“The eldest journalist in Germany” –as many people used to call him– was found yesterday on Leros island, where a Proto Thema journalist cornered him for an interview. He was asked why he visited the country he mostly criticizes through his newspaper and what his impression of Greek hospitality was.
“It’s not the first time I have visited Greece. I’ve come so many times to Athens and Crete, Paros and Santorini. I know you well and I truly like your country a great deal,” admits Mr Diekmann despite what many people would rush to think.
The Greek newspaper Proto Thema is actually the first international media ever to extract an interview from the German director, as it reports. A highly communicative person, he has been honored with a series of awards and distinctions in Germany for his talented work in his area of expertise.
This special guest says he hadn’t initially planned his visit to Greece. As a partner to the Turkish newspaper “Hurriet”, Mr Diekmann visited the Turkish city Bodrum at first, but then decided to travel to Leros island. “It was a spontaneous decision of our company, which proved a right choice. What amazed me is that I was discovered from the Turkish minarets in the Orthodox churches on Leros only two miles away,” Diekmann notes.
The German director praised hospitable Greeks on Leros who made him feel literally like home. “I didn’t feel any hostility at all,” he says.
When it comes to the present financial situation of our country and the constant pressure by Germany, he explained that Germans only want to ensure reforms since they give their money to us. “After all, it’s what the IMF chief, Ms Lagarde, also asks for. It wasn’t just Germans,” he underlines, adding that he acknowledges that “Germany has become unpopular” in Greece for constantly asking for concrete measures.
“But the friendship between Germans and Greeks is truly a great friendship. It won’t be ruined by the circumstances. And in fact I have a comment about this: Sincere friends must tell the truth. A truth that probably hurts in some of its aspects,” he points out comparing Germany to the dentist and Greeks to the patient!
To the Proto Thema journalist asking him whether Minister Westerwelle was right to advise his to visit Greece for the summer, he replied that “Coming to Greece was one of the best things I had to do. I really enjoyed your country.” It was quite an unexpected response that surprised the Greek journalist.