Athens, twelve-thirty, and the hairstyle is not sitting flat. As if Aeolus had opened the sack of unpropitious winds, as the Chancellor’s plane touched down in Athens yesterday a wicked crosswind irked the Chancellor and messed up the photos.

It was a dramatic landing, broadcast live on television, and had echoes of Sadat’s landing in Israel and Nixon’s in China. The drama was a surprise and should not have been necessary.

A shame that this trip comes so late. All the same, the Chancellor was delighted to see a familiar face as she began to shake hands on the runway. The whole cabinet, including the prime minister, had formed up right on the tarmac as a guard of honour.

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