PNG buys 40 Maseratis for APEC meeting
WELLINGTON (AFP) – Papua New Guinea has bought 40 Maserati sports cars to chauffeur world leaders around next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, triggering an outcry from critics who say the poverty-stricken country has better things to spend its money on. The cars -- which retail for about US$150,000 each -- arrive at a time when diseases such as polio and TB have re-emerged in PNG. Two charter flights from Italy -- home of the luxury automaker -- arrived this week and pictures of the vehicles being unloaded in Port Moresby were soon doing the rounds on social media. Northern Province governor Gary Joffa, a frequent critic of the government, said money spent on the cars would have been better used to alleviate PNG’s chronic social ills. “Papua New Guinea is facing so many problems insofar as health, education, law and order,” he told Australia’s ABC. “I just think it’s a slap in the face of the people in Papua New Guinea who are suffering.” PNG, the least developed of APEC’s 41 member nations, is hosting the annual summit of world leaders on November 17-18.