Thursday, March 14, 2013

Qatar's Shopping Spree Includes Europe's Politicians

hey have raised it to the level of an art form. And examining the financial interests of prominent European politicians gives every reason to believe that the Arabs, and particularly the Qataris, are pursuing a deliberate strategy of cultivating ties to our political elites. Yes, it's not just islands and football clubs the Arabs are buying.
A few days ago the Financial Times had a story about Sarkozy being mooted as the head of a 500 million euro fund backed by Qatar.
Nicolas Sarkozy is being wooed by sovereign wealth funds including Qatar’s who are ready to back him to start a private equity fund.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and other investors have offered to commit as much as €500m in total to a fund run by the former French president, people familiar with the matter said. Mr Sarkozy has sought advice from close advisers on the plan.
However, he has put it on hold in recent weeks because he sees an opportunity to return to politics following the rapid decline in the polls of President François Hollande, who defeated him in May, two people familiar with Mr Sarkozy’s thinking said. "The Qataris are taking an option on the next president of France,” a third person with knowledge of the venture said.
Source: Financial Times
This is far from exceptional.
Tony Blair is regularly employed by Qatar as a consultant and middleman.
A few months ago it was reported that Berlusconi was considering selling a 30% stake in AC Milan to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.
The Gazzetta dello Sport says the deal could be worth $323 million, and would facilitate the building of a new stadium or the refurbishment of the San Siro.
The deal could also include aspects involving Berlusconi's media empire and the Qatari-run Al-Jazeera network.
Nor is it just former government leaders that the Arabs put on the payroll. They go for the up-and-coming generation too, as the example of David Miliband makes clear.
To adapt Robert Burns:
What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor's wages.
The Muslim steel we could disdain,
Secure in valour's station;
But Arab gold has been our bane-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
O would, or I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I'll mak this declaration;
We're bought and sold for Arab gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

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