Cheaper to coat road in caviar than build it
Corruption in Russia has made road-building so expensive that the same stretches of motorway could be coated in an eight-inch thick layer of foie gras for the same price, a study has found.
The decision to publish the bizarre calculation in the Russian edition of 'Esquire' magazine was designed to embarrass the Kremlin, which has failed to tackle endemic corruption in the industry.
The magazine used one road, being built for the 2014 winter Olympics in the southern town of Sochi, as an example. The price tag for the 42km-long road is €5.8bn.
For the same amount of money, the magazine calculated, it would be possible to coat the road with foie gras eight inches thick or a two-inch layer of truffles.
Alternatively, it said, the road could be lined with a layer of oysters, black caviar or even fur coats for the same amount of cash.
A river of Hennessy cognac just over five inches deep would also cost the same.
The price comparison was made after it was revealed that a top official in the Moscow city government responsible for road-building awarded construction contracts worth more than €178m to a company owned by his wife. (©Daily Telegraph, London)