Dead Men Left

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Debt relief: suspicions

"Thepikie" asked, in a comments box a few posts ago, what sort of conditions lay behind the hullaballoo surrounding the G8 announcement on debt relief. Bang on cue, the Belgium-based Committee to Abolish Third World Debt deliver the goods:

(1) The financial burden of the operation on rich countries would amount to some 2 billion dollars a year, compared to 350 billion the G8 devote to farming subsidies or 700 billion they spend in military expenditure. Rich countries would thus be willing to spend every year for the announced cancellation half of the amount the US spend every month on their continued occupation of Iraq. Moreover, the US would finance their contribution through their meagre aid for development budget, so they would not even have to find any additional resources... [Emphasis added]

The G8 decision represents a continuation of the HIPC initiative, which means the imposition of heavily neoliberal policies: privatisation of natural resources and of strategic economic sectors to the benefit of transnational corporations; higher cost of health care and education; a rise in VAT; free flow of capital, which leads to capital leaving the country as shown by several UNCTAD reports; lower tariff protection, which leads to thousands of small and middle producers losing their livelihoods because they cannot compete with imported goods.