Shevardnadze denies buying German villa
4 December 2003
BADEN-BADEN – Eduard Shevardnadze, who stepped down last month as Georgian president, has again denied that he has bought, or caused to be bought, a luxurious German home.
SWR1, a German radio station, broadcast Thursday an interview with Shevardnadze through an interpreter in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
He said rumours that he or his agents had bought a villa in Baden-Baden were stupid and were only being circulated to inflate the house’s price.
The palatial gated home, or at least the roof parts that are visible over a hedge and screen of trees, has been frequently shown on TV news shows since reports that the former Soviet foreign minister would flee to Germany to retire.
The home, on a millionaires’ row, formerly belonged Max Grundig, founder of a German radio and television factory. Baden-Baden, a spa in Germany’s southwest, is a magnet for Russia’s rich and famous.
In czarist days, Russia’s aristocracy frolicked and gambled in the high-class casinos of Baden-Baden. In recent years, super-rich Russians have returned to the hillside resort, buying up prestigious homes and booking royal suites in its luxury hotels.
In the SWR1 interview, Shevardnadze said he would accept a standing invitation from the German government in two to three years’ time, and that trip would include public readings from his forthcoming memoirs.
Subject: German news