Dodges on Green Fund Stasis and Haiti Debt Relief Delay, Jamaica
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 1 -- The IMF remains a palace of spin. On most
questions, IMF staff refer back to earlier evasive statements by "the
Managing Director" Dominique Strauss-Kahn, which are even less
responsive to the resulting follow-up questions. Thursday this
happened on Haiti and the "green fund" proposal, while a
timely submitted question about Jamaica wasn't even taken.
March 31 at the
UN in New York, Inner City Press asked Strauss-Kahn why the IMF had
not yet forgiven Haiti's debt, and about the negative impacts of
previous IMF conditionalities on Haiti, destroying among other things
its rice industry. Strauss-Kahn's vague answer to the first question,
and dismissive rejection of the latter, were reported
luck would have
it, the IMF had its bi-weekly press briefing on April 1. Inner City
Press asked, and IMF spokesman Gerry Rice read out in full without
attribution, "At the UN
yesterday Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that the IMF has yet to forgive
Haiti's debt. By contrast, the IADB has already forgiven $479
million. Can you explain the IMF's delay, and exactly what Executive
Board meeting it will be, when Strauss-Kahn will actually propose
forgiving Haiti's debt?"
Mr. Rice said, "I'd like to refer you to the statement we issued
yesterday for the Managing Director" that IMF staff is preparing
a framework for the Executive Board on the issue of Haitian debt
this does not, as request, say which Executive Board meeting Strauss
Kahn is aiming at, nor does it explain the IADB's relative speed. The
IADB's representative told Inner City Press the IADB could move fast
because foreign ministers met in Cancun. But there have been IMF
Executive Board meetings since the Haitian earthquake.
City Press asked Rice to "confirm or deny" a media account
that "member countries of the International Monetary Fund
thumbed down March 25 a proposal to gather $100 billion a year
starting 2020 to help poor nations adapt to the effects of climate
putted out an "if-asked" sheet of paper and said that "as
the Managing Director has repeatedly said, climate change is in
Strauss Kahn earlier at the UN, on surely another
He then said that the IMF staff
published is an idea "purely for consideration by the
international community," the IMF's "contribution to the
broader public debate." With contributions like that, and (for
now) $2.25, you can get on the subway in New York.
City Press thrice submitted, but got no acknowledgement of much less
answer to, this question: "Jamaica's finance minister has said
the country has "met all of the IMF's conditions." Is that
accurate? What happens next?" Watch this site.
CITY PRESS ONLINE QUESTIONER: At the U.N. yesterday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn
said that the IMF has yet to forgive Haiti’s debt. By contrast, the
IABD has already forgiven $479 million. Can you explain the IMF’s
delay and exactly what Executive Board Meeting it will be when Mr.
Strauss-Kahn will actually propose forgiving Haiti’s debt?
RICE: In response to this question, I’d really like to refer you to
the statement that we issued yesterday from the Managing Director
when he attended the high-level conference in New York City. And on
the issue of debt relief, what he had said was that there was a
framework--staff was preparing a framework to be put forward for
consideration by the IMF Executive Board on the issue of debt relief
and the IMF...
CITY PRESS ONLINE QUESTIONER: Can you please confirm or deny that
member countries of the IMF thumbed down on March 25 a proposal to
gather USD100 billion a year starting 2020 to help poor nations adapt
to the effects of climate change?
MR. RICE: On this one, what
to say is as the Managing Director has said many times, climate
change is an important issue of global concern. Our contribution is
that we look to the particular issue of how to help developing
countries finance the challenges posed by climate change. And the
recently published staff position note outlined a potential staff
proposal, and the ideas set out in this note are being offered purely
for consideration by the international community and as a
contribution to the broader public debate.
* * *
Haiti, IMF's Strauss-Kahn Dodges on Debt Forgiveness, Past
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 31 -- Amid the congratulatory talk about help to Haiti
at the UN on March 31, it emerged that the International Monetary
yet to forgive Haiti's now over $270 million in debt to the
IMF, while by contrast the Inter American Development Bank has
forgiven all of its $479 million in loans to Haiti.
asked the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn why the IMF's loans had yet to
be forgiven, and to address the IMF's previous conditionalities on
Haiti which results, experts say, in the destruction of the country's
scoffed at the latter question, saying that this -- a press stakeout
in front of the pledging conference in the UN's Trusteeship Council
Chamber -- was not the place to discussion conditionality. On the
still unforgiven loans, he argued that they are not due until 2012,
and bragged that Rene Preval is happy with the IMF's, and presumably
stakeout, Strauss-Kahn made a point of hanging around with President
Preval in the hallway in front of the Trusteeship Council.
UN's Ban, Zoellick and Strauss-Kahn, IMF debt
forgiveness not yet shown
representative of the IADB came out, and confirmed that full
forgiveness of $479 million in loans. Inner City Press asked, what
explained the IABD's fast forgiveness, and the IMF's continued delay?
representative diplomatically mentioned the meeting of finance
ministers in Cancun. But there are been a number of IMF Executive
Board meetings and/or actions since Haiti's earthquake.
whether Strauss-Kahn's perhaps related fixation on Greece -- where
he's said the IMF would "intervene" if asked -- and his
personal political trajectory, not only vis a vis Nicolas Sarkozy but
also Martine Aubry, have made him and the IMF slow on Haiti. One
wouldn't know it from Wednesday's bluster, but facts... are facts.
Watch this site.
* * *