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IMF Has No Comment on US Spying, No Answers on Sahel, Sudan, DRC

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 7 -- The International Monetary Fund under Christine Lagarde goes soft on the US or at least its spying, and ignores Africa.

At the IMF's bi-weekly embargoed media briefing on Thursday morning, Lagarde's spokesperson Gerry Rice was twice asked if the IMF has received any assurances from the Obama administration it will no longer spy on the IMF and World Bank.

Rice said, twice, that the IMF has no comment at this stage.

Even the UN under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reached out to the US and received assurances, while not commenting when Inner City Press asked about Ban's talking points being spied on, and the UK case against David Miranda.

  Meanwhile, after in the two hours before the 9:30 am briefing holding two teleconference calls for reporters on Ireland and Cyprus, the IMF briefing focused on these countries, and Greece.

 Rice limited questions to those "in the room" in Washington, saying at the end that there were online questions about Argentina and Ukraine but those had already been answered.

But at least three Africa questions had been timely -- and repeatedly -- posed to the IMF, by Inner City Press:

In Africa, this week the World Bank and other IFIs toured the Sahel and in Mali the World Bank announced $1.5 billion program. What are the IMF's programs in the Sahel?

In DR Congo, will the M23 rebels' ending of this insurgency impact the economy and, separately, the chance of a revived IMF program?

On Sudan, please describe the tax exemptions for businesses that IMF's Edward Gemayel has said could be canceled to focus resources on the poor.

What's wrong with the IMF? Watch this site.


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