Crackdown, IMF Meets With Central Bank, Denies DSK Nepotism
March 31 -- The IMF, which called the
outlook for Libya's
economy “favorable” as recently as February 15 of this year, is
still having “technical meetings” with the government of Yemen
even as protesters are gunned down, IMF spokesperson Caroline
Atkinson told Inner City Press on Thursday.
submitted two questions to the IMF bi-weekly briefing on March 31,
Yemen, please describe IMF's engagement with current gov't after
Ghazi Shbeikat's talks earlier this month, and any impact its killing
of protesters has had.”
this to “I have a question online about Yemen: Please
describe the IMF’s engagement with the current government after
talks earlier this month and any impact the violence has had.”
that is, the killing of protesters -- has been so bad even Yemen's
Permanent Representative to the UN Abduallah Alsaidi, former head of
the Group of 77 and China, has quit. Here was Ms.
course, in Yemen, Syria, and other cases we deplore any violence and
we hope for peaceful resolution of political issues–We have a
program actually outstanding with Yemen and there have been contacts
at a technical level with the central bank monitoring developments.
We have had contacts at a technical level with a number of central
banks in the region.”
cover the IMF but are not present in its briefing room are not
allowed follow up questions.
Dominique Straus-Kahn & Ben Ali per FP,
clairvoyance not shown
But in this
in the room
like to follow up on Yemen. Is that program still in place or
has it been suspended in any way?
Well, we do not suspend programs –-
no, sometimes you do when it comes to political issues -–
Ukraine, for example.
Well, perhaps it is just semantics. Our programs remain in
place until they expire. Quite often in different occasions countries
may not draw under the programs for different reasons including that
we may not have reached agreement on economic policies or on policies
that we believe will be sufficient to justify the financing. In the
case of Yemen the Board approved a three year arrangement last July
under the extended credit facility. There has not been any
disbursement since then to Yemen.
a number of objectives of the program: supporting strong growth;
diversifying the revenue base because there is an important need for
expenditures especially for the poor and the vulnerable; and
reprioritizing the expenditures to support capital investment as well
as social spending. We have been in discussions about that for a
number of months.
City Press had submitted a second question, as it did without any
answer from the IMF two weeks ago:
state whether Dominique Strauss Kahn has any relatives working in the
World Bank or other UN affiliated organizations, and if so why this
does not run afoul of anti nepotism rules and principles?”
weeks ago, the
IMF simply pretended this question had not been submitted. This time,
while Ms. Atkinson did not read it out, her deputy William Murray
later sent this answer:
He has no relatives on the staff of the IMF. Given the premise of
your question, let me note that the Bank and UN are wholly separate
institutions from the IMF, with no fiscal or managerial connections.
At the IMF we certainly have nepotism rules, and they have not been
violated in any way.”
Press thanked Murray for the answer, follow up questions are
predicted. Watch this site.
* * *
on Feb 15, Now Claims DSK Clairvoyance
updated -- With a mixture of twenty twenty hindsight and
outright revisionism, the International
Fund on Thursday
joined the wider UN in turning their mis-analysis of Libya into a
case of “I told you so.”
which had Aicha Gadhafi as a Goodwill Ambassador until exposed by the
Press last month, has belatedly pointed at some UNDP Human
Development Reports, even claiming that these inspired the protesters
in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and even Yemen, where UNDP Administrator
Helen Clark visited earlier this year and said nothing about
City Press asked IMF spokesperson Caroline Atkinson, “On Libya,
what does the IMF now say about its praise of the Gadhafi
government's policies in early February 2011? Will events make the
IMF modify the way it analyzes.”
began, “Of course we always learn from events.” But she went on
to claim, “I do feel the changes, what's happening in the Middle
East, shows the importance of the issues the Managing Director and
staff have talked about for a while, inclusive growth... providing
publication dated February 15, 2011 stated among other things that
“the outlook for Libya’s economy remains favorable.” Really?
Executive Board Concludes 2010 Article IV Consultation with the
Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Public Information Notice
(PIN) No. 11/23, February 15, 2011."
read out Inner City Press' question about Nigeria, where labor groups
are urging the government not to give in to what they say is the
IMF's advice to devalue the Naira. Ms. Atkinson replied that the IMF
is not advocating a particular rate, and said that the IMF's Deputy
Director for Africa Mark Plant has been quoted as much. Not in
Google News. But we'll keep looking.
by saying that Inner City Press has also submitted questions about
“Pakistan, Libya, Jamaica, whatever,” adding that the IMF will
response bilaterally to these detailed questions. We'll see - question
submitted two weeks ago about Ukraine,
Cote d'Ivoire and the American GSEs have still not been answered.
Watch this site.
deadline, an IMF spokesperson provided this response on
please respond to reports IMF froze earmarked funds for
upgrading the corridor from Sangster Int'l airport to Greenwod, St.
James? What are the IMF's rules for taking questions?
attribute this to an IMF spokesperson:
government’s agreement with the IMF includes only
broad fiscal targets for the central government and the public
entities as a whole.
* * *
Sudan But Answers on Tunisia
and Kosovo and the International
longing for strong governments arose at the IMF's fortnightly media
briefing on Thursday. Inner City Press asked, and IMF spokesperson
Caroline Atkinson read out with a cautionary note, the following on
Pakistan, what is the IMF's thinking after the assassination of
Punjab's governor, as the government loses power -- [here Ms Atkinson
added, “those are Matthew's words”] -- is it realistic to think
the IMF's conditions will be met?”
said Pakistan has been given nine additional months. But what will be
rare Balkan question, also from
Inner City Press:
Kosovo, what are the IMF's views on Mr. Thaci's proposal to double
public sector salaries, and on the Council of Europe's allegations
this once and seeming future PM was involved in organ trafficking?”
distasteful the organ reference may have been to Ms. Atkinson, she
replied that “we have, as Matthew may know, an eighteen month”
program with Kosovo, the December consideration of which has been
these two may be that while the IMF does impose conditions on its
loans, it prefers to say that governments, particularly legislatures,
have approved or even chosen between the choices presented by the
IMF. This legitimates the IMF, and also may help in collecting the
money down the road.
even controls large swaths
of its territory -- nor, apparently more importantly to the IMF, its
Protest in Tunisia, IMF role & even
acknowledgment of question not shown
Atkinson was this question,
Tunisia, given the IMF's role and statements, what can IMF say about
the unrest that has followed the death of protester Mohamed Bouazizi
will await the
IMF's acknowledgement and answer of this question, and a more
detailed response on Sudan and the IMF's role in the debt issues, on
which the UN has said “the Bretton Woods institutions are taking
the lead.” Watch this site.
the following arrived, with the
notation that it should be attributed to an IMF spokesperson:
deeply regret the recent surge of violence in Tunisia. The IMF
remains engaged with the Tunisian authorities and follows the
developments closely. Unemployment in Tunisia has declined slightly
in the last decade, but remains high, especially among the young. In
this context, IMF staff continues to encourage the authorities to
pursue structural reforms critical to achieve higher growth, enhance
competitiveness and address the problem of persistent high
unemployment. Such reforms include measures to increase productivity
by improving the business environment, reforming labor market policy,
increasing capital investment, and modernizing and strengthening the
for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.