The government of Papua New Guinea bought 40 Maserati vehicles, made to measure and imported from Italy, to be used for a week next month during the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC), local media reported today.
"All costs will be recovered and in the end it will not cost the State anything," APEC Papuan minister Justin Tkatchenko told local broadcaster ABC.
Tkatchenko added that APEC paid the fleet of Maserati Quattroporte, which arrived in Port Moresby this week on two charter planes, and assured that the Papuan government plans to sell the vehicles that will be used by the leaders who will participate in the forum.
The minister avoided revealing the total cost of the fleet of these luxury vehicles, which cost between 150,000 and 245,000 dollars each.
The arrival of the Maserati Quattroporte caused numerous criticisms in the country, including that of the governor of the Northern Province, Gary Juffa, who recalled that Papua "has so many problems at the moment in terms of health, education, law and order".
"I think it's a slap in the face of the people of Papua New Guinea who are suffering," Juffa added.
The governor of the district that covers Port Moresby, Powes Parkop, said instead that, although it is a luxury, "it is a way to show deep appreciation to the leaders who visit the country," according to ABC.