Boutaris denies lashing out at German envoy to Greece

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris has denied reports he made demeaning comments about a German envoy in Greece that effectively accused the official of squandering public money.

Reports in Greek media on Thursday said that Boutaris accused Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Germany’s federal deputy labor minister who has been appointed by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a special envoy to promote Greek-German cooperation on a local administration level, of being more interested “in good wine and good food” than the exchange of know-how between the two nations.

A statement from the mayor’s office on Friday said that the relationship between the two men has always been “professional,” adding that the municipality has always tried to maximize institutional cooperation between the two sides.

“It is hard to see why such groundless reports have emerged, and what’s more at this particular time,” the statement said.