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August 9, 2007
John Edwards and Kofi Annan: Peas in a Pod
Apparently, Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, has a lot in common with John Edwards as far as practicing the fine art of "doing as I say, not as I do:"
A former U.N. secretary-general, Kofi Annan, recently purchased a second multimillion-dollar house, this one in a posh neighborhood in Tangier, Morocco, where his neighbors are said to include pop stars and the country's king, sources said. And one wonders the source of Mr. Annan's fortune - given his relatively paltry salary when he was at the UN:
Mr. Annan was in Morocco earlier this week, calling on European Union leaders to retool their efforts to end poverty in Africa. His brother, Kobina, has for a long time served as Ghana's ambassador in Rabat, where he is considered a top player on the diplomatic scene.
The former secretary-general is currently based in Geneva, where he had reportedly already bought a multimillion-dollar residence in an upscale neighborhood. E-mail messages seeking comment on the Moroccan house purchase were not answered by Mr. Annan's Geneva office.
Mr. Annan's annual salary as secretary-general, a position he held until December 2006, amounted to $300,000. The organization financed his official residency. He currently draws a pension that, according to a U.N. spokesman, is based on the contributions he made to a U.N. pension fund during two separate periods — one spanning more than 30 years as a staff member, and the other during the 10 years he served as the organization's chief. I suppose being held (partially) responsible for the genocide in Rwanda and in the Balkans, being negligent (at best) regarding the oil-for-food scandal, and engaging in politicking on American shores (breaking UN precedent) does not prevent him from treating himself to some baubles. I wonder if his son, a beneficiary of the oil-for-food scandal, is enjoying this romp through the land of luxury.
Annan-pleads against poverty, lives in the lap of luxury. Remind you of anyone? Perhaps someone who rails against the rich while living in a $70 million dollar estate?
John Edwards would get along swell with Kofi Annan.