Monday, August 11, 2008

The Russian Riviera

Villefrance sur Mer
Are Russian Oligarchs the New Saudi Princes?

From the 19th Century through the early 20th Century Russian Royalty flocked to the French Riviera. And why not, what better place was there for a social season in the sun away from the dreary cold of Russian Court.

And now, the Oligarchs want their place in the sun too.

An unnamed Russian Oligarch just purchased Lilly Safra's Villefrance villa L:a Leopolda, once owned by King Leopold of Belgium, for 500 million Euro ($750 million) !!

From the Times Online

Jean Pierre, a high-end agent, said: “It's completely surreal and we are really uneasy. We don't dare any more to propose any price below €100 million for these clients. Anything below and they throw you out...and you should see how they do it,” he told Le Parisien. The Nice Matin newspaper said: “At this price tag, we are beyond luxury and even reality.”

Russian excess is feeding discontent among poorer people. Pierrette, a housekeeper for one Russian, said: “I attended a party where the guests had fun throwing burning €500 notes into the air while everyone split their sides laughing. The domestic staff were later told to collect the ashes. It was sickening.”

Until the Revolution there was a Russian Aristocracy, a small percentage of the population who controlled all the wealth in Russian and was served by a huge Russian peasantry of serfs. In the long decades of the Soviet Union there was the Nomenklatura, an aristocracy of sorts, that controlled access and assets. Now we have the Oligarchs, a small group who controls the massive wealth from the ownership and distribution of natural resources, particularly in diamonds and oil.

So as the the ostentatious Oligarchs buy up the best and Vladamir Putin cheers on the team at the Olympics, Russia attacks Georgia over control of oil distribution leaving thousands wounded.

Move on...nothing to see here.....just more oil wealth for the few.....
Digg this

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites