Stingy Italians

January 29, 2010

berluscoiA black mark for Italy in the doing-good stakes.

Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, took a swipe at the Italian government in Davos for being “uniquely stingy” when it comes to foreign aid.

The good guys are Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Luxembourg — all of which give 0.72 to 1.0 percent of GDP as foreign aid.

But Italy gives a paltry 0.21 percent, following a decision by Silvio Berlusconi’s government to cut its help to poor countries by more than half.

So, who is Gates to talk?

Well, he and wife Melinda have arguably earned the right to a certain amount of finger-wagging after pledging $10 billion over the next decade to fund vaccine development and delivery in developing countries.

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