Coy with Ukraine Numbers, Denies Pakistan Conditions, Ignores Haiti
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 -- While the IMF on Thursday proudly announced
Greece's request to discuss IMF "fund program engagement,"
questions emerged about conditions the IMF imposes and how
transparent they are.
asked for confirmation that the IMF is "pressuring Ukraine's
government to set a budget deficit goal of six percent of GDP -- did
Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn discuss this issue, and this
number, with Mr. Yanukovych on Monday?"
Caroline Atkinson, who like her colleagues often denies that the IMF
government to do anything, this time replied that "we do not go
public with numbers until we're closer" to a deal.
also asked "In Pakistan, there have been protests against the
Value Added Tax the protesters say the IMF is requiring be imposed.
What is the relation of the VAT to what the IMF will propose to the
Executive Board on May 3 regarding Pakistan?"
"governments decide what measures to implement... we help [with]
the size of the adjustment measures."
being offered a facility with no conditions. Inner City Press asked,
comparing it to Ukraine and Pakistan, "Would the facility to
Colombia which Mr. Lipsky has spoken in favor of come with any
similar conditions, or any conditions or recommendations at all?"
that no conditions are required if "policies are strong." Clearly this
would not apply to Greece.
IMF's Stauss Kahn, Haitian fish story not shown
is also unclear
how the IMF decides which opposition parties to meet with, and what
instructions it gives them. Inner City Press asked a question which
Ms. Atkinson summarized rather than directly answer. The question
was, "Following the IMF's Bakker's meeting w/ Bulgarian
opposition parties, it appears that IMF disagrees with their
characterization of the meeting. Does IMF tell its interlocutors how
to describe such meetings, or not to describe them? Will there be any
changes in IMF meetings with opposition parties?"
after her summary, said that "we have different exchanges"
with opposition parties "when relevant." She did not answer
what instructions or conditions the IMF imposes on such meetings.
asked, The "Haiti Recovery Act" passed by the U.S. House
of Representatives calls for the IMF to forgive all outstanding debt
of Haiti. Why has the IMF not done so yet, and when will the Managing
Director finally make his proposal to the Board?"
a follow up to an inconclusive
Q&A with Mr. Strauss Kahn at the
UN on March 31, was not even acknowledged, must less answered.
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.
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