Staff Working for Russian Oligarchs Jobless After EU Sanctions: Report

  • EU sanctions on oligarchs have left hundreds of staff without a job in Italy: The Washington Post.
  • Some staff working for the oligarchs were suspended without pay, a union leader told The Post.
  • The oligarchs sometimes gave workers six-figure tips, The Post reported.

Hundreds of staff working for Russian oligarchs on an Italian island became unemployed after the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Post reported.

Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, is a popular destination for wealthy Russians who have built luxury beachfront properties and docked their superyachts in its marina.

Since the EU sanctioned Russian oligarchs and froze their assets, some people working for the oligarchs have lost their jobs, while other employees have been suspended without getting paid, Mirko Idili, a union leader, told The Post.

“Many of these oligarchs are still perceived here as magnates, as benefactors,” he said.

The oligarchs sometimes gave staff five or six-figure tips, The Post reported.

The Italian government has frozen about eight houses in a 10-mile stretch of the Emerald Coast in northeast Sardinia, according to the newspaper.

A $114 million property in Sardinia owned by Russian Formula One driver Nikita Mazepin and his oligarch father was seized by Italian authorities, as well as billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s villa worth almost $18 million, Reuters reported.

Mauro Pili, the former governor of Sardinia, told The Post the island relied on Russian wealth, but “once you close the tap, there’s damage.”

It’s another example of how people working for Russian oligarchs are being affected by sanctions. In March, Usmanov’s crew on his $600 million superyacht were reportedly fired because sanctions meant they couldn’t be paid.

Workers renovating Usmanov’s villas in Germany couldn’t get their wages because of sanctions, The New York Times reported.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the EU has sanctioned Russian oligarchs over their close ties to President Vladimir Putin. The sanctions involve freezing the oligarchs’ assets, banning them from traveling to or from member states, and barring them from doing business with the EU.

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