Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s decision to move the G8 summit from the island of La Maddalena to the quake-hit region of Abruzzo is going to be a blow for MSC Cruises.
One of the cruise line’s ships was going to be used to provide accommodation for some of the world’s most powerful leaders – and Gordon Brown – but it will no longer be needed now the venue has been changed in support of L’Aquila’s earthquake victims.
And it has been revealed that the earlier announcement that MSC Fantasia was to be the G8’s floating hotel was all a security smokescreen anyway. It was actually going to be the yet-to-be launched MSC Splendida, which received some summit-ready modifications while in the final stages of construction at St Nazaire, in France.
One thing still puzzles me, though. Where will the thousands of G8 support staff be accommodated in Abruzzo as Berlusconi keeps his fellow leaders waiting while yelling “pronto” into his mobile phone? Surely not in tented villages.