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Greens' leader visits London

BRITAIN WILL see the face of the new Germany today when Joschka Fischer, the most powerful Green politician to walk the world stage, arrives for a short.

The 50-year-old former revolutionary, sworn in yesterday as Germany's Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister, is flying to Paris, London and Warsaw in an effort to reassure Germany's closest European friends of "continuity".

He is due to arrive in London tonight for dinner with Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, and will have a round of formal talks with him tomorrow. Language should be no barrier. Mr Fischer speaks good, if slightly rusty, English.

While Downing Street was delighted with the Social Democrats' victory in last month's elections, its reaction to the Greens entering government for the first time was muted.Suspicions linger about Mr Fischer's "anti- imperialist" past.

On Monday the Social Democrat leader, Gerhard Schroder, formally elected Chancellor by the Bundestag yesterday, will travel to London to explain what he means by his promised "new beginning". He obtained a surprisingly strong endorsement in parliament, with seven opposition MPs voting for him as Chancellor.