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IMF Washes Hands of Greek Broadcaster, No Ask from Pakistan, Africa Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 -- When the International Monetary Fund on Thursday morning took questions for the last time in three weeks, its role in Greece's abrupt shut down of the public broadcaster was asked about repeatedly.

  IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice insisted that the IMF didn't order the close down, it only sets broad outlines. It is not at all clear that this is true.

   On this, Inner City Press submitted questions about Pakistan and the IMF's demand to end power subsidies, and about Yemen, where "ending fuel subsidies is now described by parliament member Azam Salah as a condition imposed by the IMF. Is that the case, and what about unrest and lower income Yemenis?"

  The IMF didn't answer on Yemen, nor three questions submitted on Africa. But on Pakistan Rice said that an IMF mission arrived in Islamabad yesterday and will take two weeks, "as is normal."

 He claimed that there has been "no formal request for a program" - with that claim seeming to be the justification for not answering on the question of power subsidies.

But why does the IMF take no questions about Africa? Inner City Press submitted these:

On Sudan, given Khartoum's announcement about stopping the flow of South Sudan oil due to alleged funding of rebels, how does this change the IMF's analysis or engagement, including with South Sudan?

On Zimbabwe, the World Bank's country manager has said that "arrears clearance is the main thing." Does the IMF agree? What is the IMF look for from Zimbabwe?

On the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Bank has announced $1 billion in programs. What is the IMF doing in the DRC?

  Maybe new envoy Russ Feingold, if not Mary Robinson, can get and publicize an answer from the IMF on that. Watch this site.

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