While a fifth of Greeks have been pushed into poverty by austerity measures he imposed on the orders of international lenders, former Prime Minister George Papandreou will live in a luxury apartment in Manhattan, courtesy of the Ivy League school Columbia University, which is going to also pay him $30,000 to give seven lectures.
His neighbors include Lady Gaga, Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and film star Matt Damon, among other celebrities, according to the newspaper Proto Thema, which has been following his exploits in the U.S.
Papandreou, also a sitting Member of Parliament for which he is paid about $10,000 a month, not including other benefits, earlier had been given the same star treatment from Harvard University, where he lectured on European politics, despite being forced out of office in November, 2011 by protests, strikes and riots.
The newspaper said one of the terms he insisted on in his contract was one of the most expensive residences in the city. While he has commitments in Greece, he will live for the next six months in one of the toniest parts of New York City’s West Side, where film star Denzel Washington, singers Beyonce, Madonna, Sting and rapper Jay-Z live.
The rent for the simplest one-bedroom apartment in the area is $1,500 while they cost about $2 million to purchase. While his new residence was being readied, Papandreou was being put up at a luxury hotel by Columbia.