Silent safari offers no comment on marble steps
Saturday 26 June 1993
Not only does it have what is said to be a pounds 700,000 marble foyer and pounds 52,000-a-time staff Christmas parties, but several of its polyglot employees wear safari suits to work.
The suits were reluctant to talk about the resignation of Jacques Attali. 'No comment,' they blurted in a variety of accents before shying away through that marble foyer, down the marble steps, and into the safety of the sandwich shop.
The security men would not say whether Mr Attali was inside the Glistening Bank. Did he plan to make another statement? 'No comment.' In the basement car park, three sleek, black diplomatic cars stood with their engines running, fuelling rumours that he would make a quick break for the airport. He didn't.
Back on the steps in Exchange Square (a safe 75 yards from the bank), a few EBRD-ers had been mellowed by the twin effects of a jazz band and a bottle of white wine.
'It's like (Michael) Mates,' said a six-foot, blond-haired man claiming to be Bernard, the other half of the Algerian-born Attali twins. 'The press wasn't giving up and eventually Attali couldn't cling on any longer. Every article written about us, even about a titchy project in Poland, mentioned private jets and marble. It was getting really embarrassing and the bank was losing what credibility it had left.'
Another employee said: 'We realised we had plush offices, we saw the refit going on, but we didn't stop to think where the money was coming from. Maybe he didn't either.'
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
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- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Isis in Syria: 60,000 Kurds flee terror in new exodus
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
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Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
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