Monday, February 13

And I thought Congress had corruption problems

An interesting article in the Times today about Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, who is head of the African Union, which is currently negotiating debt-relief with the World Bank and IMF.

Sassou-Nguesso was in New York the other day to give a 15-minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly. His stay lasted eight days, during which time his fifty-person entourage occupied twenty-five rooms at the Palace hotel and racked up almost $300,000 in charges.

According to the article:

Details of the president’s extravagance have outraged Congo-Brazzaville’s creditors and raised new questions about the credibility of the country’s claim to qualify for debt relief under an agreement brokered by Tony Blair at last year’s G8 summit at Gleneagles.

I'd say.

World Bank sources said Wolfowitz was perturbed by the Congo-Brazzaville case, but he is under pressure from the French to approve a debt relief package.