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From Prince William to Mike Pompeo: top quotes at Davos

FILE PHOTO: Mike Pompeo

Davos, Switzerland | AFP | Here is a serving of quotes from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday, where a year after US President Donald Trump stole the show, Brazil’s new far-right leader grabbed the limelight.

“I’d like to say it’s a personal treat for me to be sitting here asking you questions. Normally I have to endure people asking me questions.” — Britain’s Prince William cracks an opening joke as he begins an interview of Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated TV naturalist.

“When I heard him during the election, I was pained. When I heard him today I thought at least he allows a ghost writer to write for him.” — Fritz Kaiser, an investor from Liechtenstein, after Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro delivered a subdued keynote speech touting his reform agenda.

“New winds are blowing across the world.” — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, addressing the Davos audience by video from Washington, celebrating a wave of populist “disruption” across the globe.

“Resign.” — Former US secretary of state and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry when asked what message he would give Trump, were the president sitting opposite him.

“No other event has the same global appeal.” — Andy Christie, private jets director at Air Charter Service, which forecasts nearly 1,500 private jet flights over the week of Davos to nearby airports, despite growing alarm over climate change and the carbon footprint of such flights.

“It’s not pessimistic … It’s just a feeling that it won’t be so great this year. It is almost dull. I don’t understand it. I’m still trying to sort it out.” — Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff, a Davos regular, agrees with others that the WEF has so far lacked oomph a year after Trump upended the forum.


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