By Pascale Palmer
There were a lot of rumours flying round the G8 yesterday as world leaders fought it out at the negotiating table. China left due to the riots at home, and with them exited a major player on climate. But despite the conflicting whispers, most of what we were hearing sounded pretty grim at the half-way lunchtime mark.
So while we waited for the Day One facts to be announced from the Berlusconi House, I picked up a few juicy titbits from behind the scenes at the G8. While drinking a coffee, I met a man who had kitted out the American President’s suite in La’Aquila. He told me that Mr Obama would be sleeping on crisp, white 100-thread cotton sheets – monogrammed with his initials. When wandering to his private gym, Mr Obama has the opportunity to don a monogrammed bath-robe, also in white. The President’s bedroom windows are screened by impact-proof glass and for even more peace of mind, the Italian PM is sleeping down the corridor – also in monogrammed splendour.
Apparently when the Chinese delegation saw their leader’s room they asked for the luxury to be toned down, with a request for just one sheet, one pillow and a tube of Colgate toothpaste. And in amongst all this Gordon Brown has been put in the same building as the Japanese premier.
While in other news – the Italians have the best-dressed military and police on the planet. And so many of them! So far I have seen seven different uniforms, including firemen and forestry guards – all of them out in force at the G8. It’s as though somewhere nearby they’re filming a blend of Saving Private Ryan and Terminator.