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 European donors 'profiting from aid budgets' with high-interest loans

European donors have been accused of profiting from their aid budgets, as an increasing amount of their money for the world\'s poorest countries is being given as loans – which have to be paid back with interest. As budgets tighten, some EU states are using \"ambiguous and outdated\" international rules on what can count as official development assistance (ODA) to include high-interest loans to developing countries in their annual aid figures, said the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad). ... More

 IMF fresh loan to Pakistan- a recipe to ruin

The cash-strapped newly installed Pakistan Muslim League (PML) government has no option but obey and implement all the IMF’s demands. A total of $3 billion has to be repaid during the current financial year, including to the IMF. Pakistan’s dollar reserves stood at $6 billion—only enough for Pakistan to pay for six weeks of imports. The strict conditions attached to the three-year EFF program include:... More

 Scottish government makes debt relief top priority

The Scottish government have signalled that they would take action to deal with unjust debts inherited from the UK, if there is a yes vote in 2014’s independence referendum. The Scottish government has said granting “Debt relief” will be one of its top four priorities for international development policy following independence, including questioning unjust debts, stopping the creation of new unjust debts and establishing Scotland as a centre for debt arbitration.... More

 Pakistan Rising Debt: Govt adds Rs.1trillion in just 3 months

The national debt of Pakistan under Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has piled up in three months to an unprecedented level and added Rs980 billion in its debt stock, taking the total debt to approximate Rs15 trillion. The amount is exclusive of the loan obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aimed at averting a looming balance of payment crisis, according to figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan. The IMF loans are treated as the obligation of the SBP. By end June 2013, the central government’s total debt was Rs14 trillion that increased to Rs14.98 trillion by end September, showing an increase of Rs980 billion or 7%.... More

 Grenada calls for Debt Relief from all creditors

Our tiny island of Grenada, with not many more than 100,000 inhabitants, is saddled with a debt that cannot be sustained. We have been hard hit by the global financial crisis because it affected our cruise ship clientele in the US. A slow recovery from hurricanes in the last decade as well as the reduction in development assistance have also played a part. We are committed to bearing our share of the cost while finding a way out that is both equitable and sustainable.... More

 World Bank funded private schools in Pakistan undermining equity

Could tuition replacement vouchers be regarded as instruments of equity? They are not universally available to all children, reaching a very small fraction of the qualifying population. Also they are completely dependent, in the case of Punjab, on Bank and DFID funding, and, therefore, unsustainable. Supporting schools that would charge fees at the point of service runs counter to the constitutional promise made by the state, unless we could somehow universalize vouchers, which will be nigh impossible due to limited resources and a highly segmented market place.... More

 Millennium Development Goals- The Failure of the Debt System

As the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund hold their annual meeting in Washington 11-13th October 2013 it is necessary to take a look at the state of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The history of economic development is strewn with attempts to correct the “mistakes” of development policy. The preferred method is to add new elements to the agenda. This approach has led to adding an ever-increasing number of issues, from environmental concerns to social policies, into the policy discussions. According to World Bank data, in 2010 alone, developing countries paid out $184 billion on debt service, about three times the annual resources required for the fulfillment of the MDGs. ... More

 Dictator’s conversation with God

Give me a loan, Said a dictator to God. You have not paid back What I have already given, Replied God. There are many problems in my country, Replied the dictator. I have ensured that your trees Bear fruit, Cows have milk, Rains right on time, Said the almighty. Too many thieves in my country They take it all, Said the dictator. May I send my angels As guards, Asked the almighty. Don’t trouble yourself so much, If I have the loan That will suffice, Said the dictator.... More

 International Day on Colonialism Reparations

On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus set foot on the so called "New World", ushering in a cycle of occupation, violence, genocide and slavery: this was the beginning of colonization. Colonization is a global phenomenon: there is hardly a country in the world that has not been colonized, a colonizer, or both, such as the United States. Colonization is one of the phenomena that has most disrupted humanity. It has left a deep and lasting impression on all continents and the consequences of this are... More

 Life and Debt in Pakistan: Speaker Tour 2013

The people of Pakistan have suffered from a crippling national debt for 40 years. The global financial crisis, the horrific floods of 2010 and the so-called ‘war on terror’ have all made Pakistan’s debt spiral out of control. This debt has done little for the majority of Pakistan’s people. It has increased inequality and deepened impoverishment. Today, 50 million people live below the poverty line. Over 20 percent of government revenue is spent on debt payments – more than on health and education combined. A UK-wide speaker tour with Abdul Khaliq from CADTM-Pakistan, examining the impact of sovereign debt on life in Pakistan, and the struggle against it. He will tell us the stories from Pakistan we do not hear in the news – the impact of debt on people’s lives, the extreme economic policies pursued in the name of paying unjust debt, and how people are struggling for a fairer society.... More

 Not Our Debt - Global Week of Action against Illegitimate Debt

A call to mobilize on October 8 to 15, Global Week of Action Against ILLEGITIMATE DEBT & International Financial Institutions. Debt payments, tax avoidance and capital flight are impoverishing people to enrich a few. Money is transferred from the global South to the global North, from the marginalized to the powerful, from the 99% to the 1%. This financial system devastates the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people through the impacts and crises it creates. Predatory and reckless lenders are protected from the impacts of the debt crises they have caused, while people who had no say in the loans are paying the price. This system must come to an end, as a step towards true democracy, greater equality and the meeting of basic human rights.... More

 The IMF and the World Bank: It’s time to replace them

In 2014, the World Bank and the IMF will turn 70, and in October 2013, they will hold their usual annual meeting in Washington. Many organizations, including the CADTM, are joining together to call for a worldwide week of action against illegitimate debt and international financial institutions, from 8 to 15 October 2013. This article assesses the performance of the IMF and the World Bank, and offers ideas for a new international financial system. It presents the ways that radically redefine the foundations of the international financial system. In terms of trade, the new WTO should work to have a series of fundamental international agreements adopted, based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the fundamental treaties concerning human rights (individual or collective) and environmental rights. ... More

 Tough days ahead: Back to the IMF

THE inevitable has to happen. When? It may happen next month, or take another couple of months. The Nawaz Sharif government has to knock at the IMF’s doors to obtain another loan to pay back in the next 12 months what is already owed to the lender. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar hinted at this eventuality several times in recent weeks. There’s no harm in taking new loans to pay off old ones, he was quoted as having said during his first briefing on the state of the economy his party has inherited from the previous government. The new loan will not raise the country’s stock of foreign exchange, which is sufficient only to pay the import bill for another three months. ... More

 The debts taken in our name

Why does Pakistan routinely consider IMF-style austerity which decision-makers and well-off don’t suffer? Because, as well known, those with ulterior motives don’t have to repay. Mostly the hapless taxpayers do. Every time another loan is taken, it never eases economic problems. In fact, money doesn’t even change hands. It’s just a ledger entry in Washington of what’s lent by the IMF and immediately ‘returned’ to pay the current year’s usury. What we should say instead is: “Sorry guys, our people are suffering unbearably. We’ll pay you later when we can.” We’ve paid off the principal anyway, as have dozens of countries, some several times over. If Argentina, Ecuador, even Dubai, can default, why can’t we? A moratorium would be a much-needed, learning exercise. ... More

 Pakistan seeks IMF bailout

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are opening on Wednesday week-long discussions on Islamabad`s latest fiscal and macroeconomic adjustments and its request for a possible $5 billion bailout package for repayment of the fund`s outstanding loans. A senior official of the ministry of finance said the government had made a fiscal adjustment of about 2.5 per cent of GDP in its budget for 2013-14 to reduce fiscal deficit from 8.8pc to 6.3pc of GDP during the next financial year and hoped it would convince the IMF into agreeing on a new Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of about $5bn repayable in 10 years. ... More

 Pakistan suffers $100bn losses in ‘war on terror’

The government of pakistan\ is making efforts to calculate latest estimates of losses borne by Pakistan in the last 12 years after becoming an ally of US-led war on terrorism since 9/11 2001. These mind-boggling figures, which are in the process of finalisation, might be released in the upcoming Economic Survey 2012-13, which will be launched just ahead of next budget announcement. According to very initial and rough estimates, the losses incurred by different sectors of Pakistan’s economy in the last 12 years might go close to $100bn mark. ... More

 Campaigners call for public audit of Pakistan debt

A new hard-hitting report from Jubilee Debt Campaign and Islamic Relief "Unlocking the Chains of Debt" criticises the IMF for the crippling conditions to its loans for Pakistan\ and calls for repayments to be frozen while the legitimacy of all debts is investigated. The report warns that annual repayments are set to increase dramatically to $6 billion a year – over 20% of export revenues, and more than half what Pakistan currently spends on health and education combined. ... More

 Cancel Pakistan’s Debt: An urgent petition

The people of Pakistan\ have suffered from a crippling debt for 40 years. This debt has done little for the majority of Pakistan’s people – instead it has increased inequality and deepened impoverishment. Today, 50 million people in Pakistan live below the poverty line- BUT if we get behind them now -- following the recent change of government, we can start to change this. ... More

 Pakistan's new government must put development before debt

With an economy paralysed by IMF interference, Pakistan\ could reassert its independence by halting debt repayments. No matter which government Pakistan's people had voted for last week, the debt payments the country is scheduled to make in the next two years will largely decide that government's economic policy. That is, unless the government decides to put its people ahead of those repayments. Given the scale of problems Pakistan faces, is it possible that a sovereign economic agenda could find its way on to the table?... More

 IMF likely to be next Pakistan government's first stop

Whoever wins Pakistan's elections has a fight on their hands - not just against the Taliban, but negotiating with international backers to provide a multi-billion-dollar bailout for a country that has habitually used aid as a crutch to avoid reform.... More

 Pakistan loan talks with IMF despite debt cancellation calls

Pakistan is again in talks with IMF for fresh loan despite debt cancellation calls by the local civil society, says a statement by Bretton Woods Project on 6th Dec 2012. Talks between the IMF and Pakistan under post-program monitoring resumed in September. Despite confidence amongst Pakistan officials in their country's capacity to repay its loans, the IMF fears the need for a second loan early next year. the CADTM-Pakistan has led civil society demands for the cancellation of Pakistan's IFI debt. Its 2011 book “IFIs & Debt Politics – Pleading Pakistan Case” points to the 2010 floods which have increased the urgency of reconstruction efforts.... More

 IMF loan to Pakistan surges by 20%, as Pak Rupee erodes

International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to Pakistan has increased by 20 percent due to the persistent fall in the value of Pak rupee against US dollar during the last four years, Geo News reported on 5th Dec 2012 (Wednesday). Pakistan has already paid back $2.28 billion to IMF, while $6.00 billion still remains outstanding. Sources close to the Pakistan ministry of finance said that due to continued depreciation of Pak rupee against US dollar, the amount of Pakistan’s IMF loan rose by 20 percent, as when the loan was taken the US dollar valued at nearly PKR 79, which has by now jumped to PKR96. Besides, Pakistan is paying 1 to 2.5 percent interest on IMF loan annually. Pakistan thus far has already paid back $2.28 billion against IMF loan including the interest. Pakistan had taken over $7.5 billion loan from IMF in 2008 under Stand By Agreement, following deterioration of its balance of payment position.... More

 2007-2012: Six years that shook the banking world

None of the bank failures since 2007 have been caused by that kind of payment default. None of the bank bailouts organized by the various governments has been made necessary by suspension of payment by an over-indebted State. What has threatened the banks since 2007 is the structured private-debt holdings they have gradually built up since the major deregulation, which began in the late 1970s and culminated during the 1990s. The balance sheets of private banks are still packed with bad assets |2| which range from completely toxic assets – veritable time bombs – to non-liquid assets (meaning they cannot be sold or shifted on financial markets), and include assets of which the value is completely over-estimated in the banks’ balance sheets... More

 Pakistan’s Parliamentary Body starts probe into Public Debt since 1985

Although 12-member committee has representation of all political parties in the National Assembly, however, no debt expert is included in the committee. Whereas we demand Commission instead of committee and the members should comprise parliamentarians from both Houses as well as experts on Debt. The powers and mandate of the special committee is also limited. The committee can hold inquiry into foreign and domestic debt since 1985. So the mandate of the committee does not go back to 1947. The committee can only hold inquiry into loans taken during the last 27 years. So it excludes much-needed probe into the loans secured by three dictators.... More

 Pakistan: Debt spiral under PPP Government

Although successive governments in Pakistan have been acquiring foreign loans to meet their financial needs and all of them have their own share in pushing the nation towards a vicious and unending debt spiral, creating donor dependency by following (international financial institution (IFI)-led economic policies. However, the current PPP government has set new records of getting loans from foreign creditors and domestic banks. When PPP government came into power in 2008, the country’s external debt was $45 billion which has now increased to $61.5 billion.... More

  Default is not so tragic

There are a lot of cases that show that default is not so tragic. After the 2nd World War, there were 169 defaults on external debts. Rather than a tragedy, it’s more or less a current event in capitalism. It’s very important to convince the people to proceed to a citizen’s audit so as to understand who the creditors are and why the country got into debt, also to identify, through the audit, the illegitimate part of that debt. In recent history the Ecuadorian government took the independent and sovereign decision to suspend the repayment of thirty percent of their foreign debt, accumulated over thirty years to 2006, following the results of a public debt audit. ... More

 Greece: The IMF and Lagarde get it wrong

it is interesting to note that Christine Lagarde, who earns 32,3257 euros a year plus 57 829 euros ‘weighting’ (indemnities for extra costs), does not pay income tax because she is an international civil servant. A perfect case of ’do as I say’, not ’do as I do’. Madame Lagarde, enough is enough! You are in no position to preach to others! The organization of which you are the director and the policies which it implements are bitterly contested by numerous peoples who suffer as a result of them, whether they be in Africa, Europe, Latin America or Asia. The IMF should be abolished and replaced by a new, truly democratic, institution, with monetary stability and the respect of fundamental human rights as its primary objectives... More

 Pakistan: Towards the debt trap

More than 60 per cent of net revenue receipts of the federal government go towards debt servicing, which leaves hardly anything behind for other expenditures like health and education. For the other high income countries that are in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis these days, the problem is different from the one we`re facing here, and therefore their situation is not comparable. Those countries have documented economies, and they can raise additional tax revenue quickly by broadening their tax base or cutting their bloated entitlement expenditures... More

 Pakistan does not need any foreign aid at all

Pakistan does not need any foreign aid at all. We have been dependent on aid for decades and much of that aid has gone into supporting military dictatorships under one pretext or the other. Pakistan needs reforms, not aid. We have enough resources to be able to fulfill the investment gap. Foreign aid is an addition and is the easy option. We need to be able to tax the rich in Pakistan. Without changing the tax system and tax structure, if we just collect tax more efficiently and honestly, we shall not have any deficit and shall not need loans or aid, which is always politically tied. Moreover, aid is a subsidy to the rich in Pakistan and allows the rich to continue to avoid paying taxes. The tax payers of other countries are subsidizing Pakistan’s elite... More

 Pakistan and IMF

The IMF has been off-and-on involved with Pakistan for more than thirty years. At present, Pakistan has no operational arrangement with the IMF. However, it owes the IMF about $8 billion: $1.8 billion is due to be paid to the IMF in 2012, $3.9 billion in 2013 and $2.1 billion in 2014. Thus, in the absence of a new arrangement, Pakistan will have to repay a total net amount of $7.8 billion to the IMF in a period of less than three years... More

 Greece: here come the vulture funds

Vultures "invest" in the sovereign debt of countries facing crisis – meaning they can buy debt cheap. They then "hold out" against any form of write-down on this debt. By doing this, they hope to get paid out in full. Given they paid a fraction of the value of the debt, getting full repayment represents an enormous profit.... More

 Internatio​nal Citizen Debt Audit Network – ICAN is born

Coordinated efforts in Europe and North Africa to fight against Debt and Austerity.The International Citizen Debt Audit Network – ICAN, has been born under the slogan “We don’t owe! We won’t pay!”, bringing together movements and networks in different European and North African countries, fighting austerity measures through the implementation of Citizen Debt Audits... More

 Debt and Dictators

Blaming the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and holding President Zardari responsible for every ill in the country is fashionable. On the other hand, the performance of the fourth PPP government leaves hardly any room for its defense. While the incumbent government’s poor performance is used as a pretext by anti-democratic forces to backstab the democratic process, every criticism on the PPP government is also dismissed by Zardaristas as an attack on democracy.... More

 The unfulfilled promises of microcredit: some new evidence

Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank, made the promise of a world without poverty thanks to the magic of microfinance and social business |1|. Since the main problem of poor people was, he said, that they are denied access to capital and markets, the way to release them from the grip of poverty was to lend them small amounts of money. The micro-borrowers would then become competitive micro-entrepreneurs in ultimately rewarding markets. Furthermore, the micro-loans, mostly granted to women, would serve as a springboard towards greater financial autonomy and influence in decision-making. ... More

 For Greece, default is the only option

Negotiations to reduce Greek debt have been suspended after no agreement could be reached last week. At some point in the near future Greece seems certain to default on its obligations. But the drama surrounding the talks in Athens, Berlin and Paris shows that there will be nothing co-operative about Greek default. It is a ruthless contest dominated by the so-called troika: the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. ... More

 Third of debts owed by poor countries to UK is interest on loans

A third of the debt owed to the UK by some of the world's poorest countries consists of interest on the original loans, a figure that third world debt campaigners have condemned as "ridiculously high". Around £2.34bn is owed to the UK by 24 nations – including Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe – £825m of which is interest, UK Export Finance, which insures British business dealings abroad, has disclosed following a freedom of information request. ... More

 Citizen debt audits: how and why?

The question of repayment of public debt is undeniably a taboo subject. The heads of State and governments, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the mainstream media present it as inevitable, indisputable and obligatory. The people have no other choice than to knuckle under and pay. The only possible discussion pertains to how the burden of the sacrifices will be spread around so as to find sufficient budget to meet the nation's obligations. The borrowing governments were democratically elected, thus the debts are legitimate; they must be paid. ... More

 Germany Cancels Tunisia’s 60 Million Euro Debt

The German ambassador in Tunisia, Horst-Wolfram Kerll has confirmed toay that Tunisia's German-owned debt - totaling €60 million - will be cancelled. This decision followed the German foreign minister's visit to Tunisia on January 8. Mr. Kerll explained that Germany will convert the Tunisian debt into investment. Consequently, Tunisia is no longer obliged to repay its €60 million debt to Germany, provided that the capital is utilized to launch investment initiatives that will benefit Tunisian economy ... More

  Debt Audit Commission a must to dig out illegitimate loans: CADTM-Pakistan

“Debt continues to weigh down Pakistan, preventing it from being able to break out the endless cycle of poverty and injustice. Although Pakistan has ended SBA agreement With IMF, yet it is not out of woods. Debt scenario is getting bad to worse. The public debt has soared by a whopping Rs.120 billion just between July 1, 2011 to-date in the wake of depreciation of Pak currency against US $. The country’s public debt has risen to Rs. 11 trillion, which includes foreign debt of Rs.4500 billion ($ 60 billion) and domestic debt of Rs. 6500 billion. A comprehensive parliamentary and independent debt audit commission, with constitutional cover is need of the hour to identify the illegitimate part of the Pakistan external debt and suggest ways and means to grapple with the situation”. ... More

 Why Pakistan says adieu to IMF program?

The government of Pakistan has taken the decision to say ‘adieu’ to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program at least for the time being, after the existing $11.3 billion Stand By Arrangement (SBA), is to be ended on 30 September 2011.This is the 8th SBA program with the IMF to conclude on an unsuccessful note, since 1950 when Pakistan joined the Fund. Out of these eight programs six were contracted with democratic governments.... More

 Global Week of Action Against Debt and IFIs. Break the chains of debt!

The system of debt continues to devastate the lives of people around the world. People in the South face the daily impacts and consequences of the financial indebtedness of their countries, which far from having been "relieved" is growing in step with the crisis and the pursuit of extraordinary profits by the most concentrated forms of capital. They continue also to bear the burden of the unpaid historical, social, ecological, and climate debts which are increasing as well to the rhythm of false solutions to the global crisis. ... More

 In the eye of the storm: the debt crisis in the European Union

In July-September 2011 the stock markets were again shaken at international level. The crisis has become deeper in the EU, particularly with respect to debts. The CADTM interviewed Eric Toussaint about various facets of this new stage in the crisis. The interview mainly focuses Debt crisis in Greece and it implications.... More

 An overview of campaign for debt cancellation in Pakistan

In September 2010, SLUG handed over 3000 signatures demanding a moratorium on Pakistan's debt after the unprecedented floods. Norway brought this message to the Paris Club creditors, but unforunately the international community did not want to consider this option. Syed Abdul Khaliq from CADTM Pakistan shares his analysis of the campaign for debt cancellation in Pakistan 2010 and 2011. ... More

 One year after Pakistan floods: Women continue struggle to rebuild life

Though gone are the makeshift tent camps on roadsides but revival of normal life and livelihood still remain a challenge. Thousands continue a daily struggle to support their families and re-establish livelihoods. As a new monsoon season is on full swing, last year’s trauma and economic pain still linger. While last year’s victims struggle to recover, others now worry that changing world weather patterns will cause renewed flooding.... More

 Barack Obama: the change that didn’t happen

With the announcement of the candidacy of Barack Obama for President of the United States in 2012, the campaign trail has officially started. Contrary to what one might have expected two years ago, Obama faces a tough re-election challenge. Furthermore, a victory does not seem guaranteed. Despite the stabilization of the financial system, achieved through a massive handout of public resources without any type of restrictions to the same people responsible for generating the crisis, the real economy is still awaiting the arrival of a true economic recovery. ... More

 What the media do not show about what happens in Morocco

The Moroccan regime started celebrations of her so-called "victory", When according to her the ”majority” of Moroccan people have said “Yes” to king’s constitution. The King presented a constitution in his speech on 17th June 2011 and submitted it for a vote less than 10 days before the referendum date. Intrestingly, ten days were deemed sufficient by the regime for its 50% illiterate population to master the 180 Articles of the new constitution. Ten days were also deemed sufficient by the regime to discuss this new constitution that is “for the first time in the history of our country, made by Moroccans, and for all Moroccans" .... More

 Democratic lessons on public debt from developing countries

Decades of bitter experience of financial crises have produced several lessons. One is that engagement with multilateral organizations, principally the IMF, is to be avoided. Public debt has become a focal point of the current economic crisis, serving to justify policies that cut public expenditure, push wages downwards and raise unemployment. But public debt also poses fundamental issues of democracy. What do working people – the "hard-working families" who are the favorite of politicians – know about its causes and composition? The answer is probably next to nothing. On what grounds are they then called upon to make severe sacrifices presumably to put public debt under control?... More

 Facing the debt crisis in Europe

One of the avatars of the financial sector crisis that began in 2007 in the United States and spread like wildfire to Europe, is the enthusiasm shown by Western European banks (especially German and French banks |1|, but also Belgian, Dutch, British, Luxembourgish and Irish ones) in using funds lent or donated massively by the Federal Reserve and the ECB to increase their loans to several Eurozone countries between 2007 and 2009 (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain) racking up juicy profits due the higher interest rates there. For example: between June 2007 (beginning of the subprime crisis) and September 2008 (Lehman Brothers bankruptcy) loans by private Western European banks to Greece rose by 30%, from 120 to 160 billion Euros. Western European bankers jostled to loan money to the European Union periphery to anyone prepared to incur debt. ... More

 Suspending public debt repayments by legal means

To be bound by a loan contract, the State must have given its free consent. This consent has a legal consequence: an obligation of the State to repay the debt it has contracted. This obligation is based on the principle of pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be respected), as embodied in article 26 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties through the principle of State continuity, by which the debts of States are passed on from one government to the next. However, these principles are not absolute and are only valid for “debts contracted in the general interest of the community”- the key words here being “the general interest of the community” .... More

 Let drop the debt along with begging bowl-An open letter to Mr.Sharif

Dear Mr.Shahbaz Sharif! Your words sound music to my ears, and I am much happy with your “radical position”. I respect your good intention, but do these really mean something more than usual political rhetoric as your party record speaks something different from your latest position. I still remember the qarz otaroo, mulk soonwaroo (repay debts to mend the country) campaign, launched by your party soon after the Atomic blasts in 1998. Many people contributed to this campaign by donating their meager savings. We never heard much about this campaign later.... More

 Run on Grameen Bank’s integrity, as founder’s career ends in disgrace

Bangladesh’s once-legendary banking environment is now fatally polluted. The rot is spreading so fast and far that the entire global microfinance industry is threatened. Controversy ranges far beyond poisonous local politics, the factor most often cited by those despondent about Grameen Bank’s worsening crisis. True, at first glance we see an oppressive state’s persecution of a courageous academic-turned-entrepreneur and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, : Muhammad Yunus. On April 5, the Bangladeshi Supreme Court confirmed that notwithstanding huge aid inflows he catalysed for one of Asia’s poorest countries – based on Bangladesh’s world-leading 25% microfinance market penetration rate – Yunus must be ousted from Grameen Bank’s leadership. ... More

 Declaration from the Athens Conference on Debt and Austerity

We, representatives of movements and activists from across the world, met in Athens to discuss the lessons of previous international economic crises, to challenge illegitimate debt and mobilize for its cancellation, to offer our solidarity to the European people struggling against unjust austerity programs imposed by governments, the EU and the IMF, exemplified by the “Memoranda of Understanding”, as well as to formulate a plan of economic action which meets the needs of people instead of serving a tiny social elite. ... More

 ToxicAid - On the European Bill of Fare

In May 2010 the European Commission created the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), financed with several hundred billion euros. Aid was intended for three years, but it is already clear that this limit will be overstepped. It is conditional on the concerned countries implementing austerity policies that are supposed to restore them to solvability. The EFSF is part of a broader aid programme, which also includes IMF financing for several hundreds billion euros under the same conditions, in keeping with the IMF Structural Adjustment Policies that have been imposed to developing countries and to countries that used to belong to the Soviet bloc since the 1980s.... More

 Civil Society in Ireland launches audit of the National Debt

Three years after the Irish government bought a ‘pig in a poke’ proffered by senior bankers, all of whom are now gone with massive pay offs, people of Ireland still do not know to whom they owe this debt. Irish civil society deserves better and people are tired of waiting for those who should have undertaken this audit. Everyone who is being forced to pay for the mistakes of a small elite will at least know who is being funded by their pay cuts, tax increases and austerity.... More

 World March of Women (Pakistan) May Day Rally in Lahore

Every year on May Day, women workers take to roads across the country to tell the decision-makers that they are workers, count them and give them their rights. But their just demands have never been taken for serious consideration. However, these struggling women can never be discouraged. They are determined to keep their movement on till their demands are met. These women workers do not want charity like the one being doled out under Benazir Income Support Program. They want to be recognized as workers under labor laws. Recognize them. They are in no mood to disappear and fade away.... More

 Eight key proposals for another Europe

The crisis has shaken the European Union to its very foundations. Public debt is suffocating several countries that have been badly hit by the financial markets. With the governments currently in office, and the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), and IMF all aiding and abetting, the financial institutions responsible for the crisis are making lots of money while speculating on government debt. Meanwhile, business owners are taking advantage of the situation to launch an offensive against the social and economic rights of the majority.... More

 Iceland’s message to Portugal

People are organizing against the debt in Iceland and Greece – their message is one that politicians must listen to. This week has witnessed two very different reactions to European debt. At one end of Europe, Iceland’s voters decided once again not to accept the payment terms of their ‘creditors’, the British and Dutch governments, following the collapse of Icelandic banks in 2008. At the other, Portugal is being pushed down the path of shock therapy by the European Union, with the people of that country cut out of a process which will change their lives dramatically. ... More

 Why IMF must drop debts with gold windfall?

The International Monetary Fund will decide on fate of $ 3 billion profit from gold sales in its forthcoming meeting, going to be held on 15-17 April 2011 in Washington. The IMF has almost $3 billion spare after selling its gold assets at a high price and making a ‘profit’ from the financial crisis it helped to create. As the Fund recently completes the sale of 403.3 tons of gold, reaping record profits, the world’s poorest countries are continue to suffer the aftershocks of multiple crises. These countries are still seeing debts increase due to disasters and global economic crisis. Tens of millions of people have been pushed into extreme poverty and poor country governments been forced to increase their debt burdens through no fault of their own. ... More

 Disaster - earthquake and nuclear explosion

Sadly, as time passes on, the reality is waking us. We see new figures whenever we switch on TV, which may be, I feel, the same as our friends in Pakistan or Haiti who are still being suffered by natural disaster. Yesterday the governor of Miyagi announced that the count of bodies would amount to over 10,000. And today the No.3 reactor at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant has exploded, and now (2 am on the 15th, in local time) core melting is happening at the No.2 reactor. It is quite clear that the nuclear power plants in Fukushima are beyond control. ... More

 Greece: the very symbol of illegitimate debt

The Greek public debt made the headlines when the country’s leaders accepted the austerity measures demanded by the IMF and the European Union, sparking very significant social struggles throughout 2010. But where does this Greek debt come from? As regards the debt incurred by the private sector, the increase has been recent: the first surge came about with the integration of Greece into the eurozone in 2001.... More

 The crisis of capitalistic system and fight against debt and for justice

Debt burdens still mean a chain of dominance for lots of people in this world, affecting every day the lives of millions. The wrong solutions offered by governments and international institutions could not affront the origin of the problems of the financial crisis, and, moreover, they did not recognize the historic, social, economic and political debts, which have been accumulated by the Global North towards the people of the Global South.... More

 Oct 14 being marked as Anti-Debt Day for Pakistan

LAHORE - The Anti-Debt Campaigners in Pakistan on Sunday urged the governments and International Financial Institutions to cancel all foreign debts of Pakistan, owed to bilateral and multilateral creditors, besides an immediate freeze on foreign debt repayments of Pakistan. They urged the lenders to extend Pakistan grants, rather than loans, which were essential for Pakistan to develop the means to withstand recent flood like disasters in future. They said it was vital that desperately needed emergency aid was not effectively swallowed up in debt repayments and a freeze on such payments must be called immediately.... More

 IFI-induced debt catastrophes?

An end August conference of NGOs, social movements, and political parties in Pakistan called for full cancellation of the country's foreign debts. Syed Abdul Khaliq, CADTM Pakistan, wrote: "Time and again, countries facing tragedies are forced by international financial institutions and donor countries to mortgage their future as they borrow for relief and recovery efforts." He argued that "instead of accepting new loan offers, the democratically elected government of Pakistan should request help and grants at the same time as demanding total and unconditional cancellation of its foreign debt." ... More

 Belgian activist urges donors to write off Pakistan’s debt

LAHORE: Stephanie Jacquemont, the CADTM Belgium representative, announced this on Sunday at the Lahore Press Club.Jacquemont is currently on a visit to show solidarity with the Anti-Debt Campaigners in Pakistan. She said that the day will be a part of the International Debt Week CADTM organises every year from October 7 to October 17. She urged Belgium as well as other countries to write-off Pakistan’s debt so that the country can use freed up resources for rehabilitation of the flood-affected people. She criticised the Belgium government’s response to Pakistan’s flood appeal, “Pakistan owes $34 million to Belgium in bilateral debt, while our government has only pledged a grant of $2.8 million.” ... More

 Pakistan. IMF pressure termed ‘blackmail’: Govt, masses urged to get foreign debts written off

KARACHI, Oct 12: Debt is a powerful tool used by creditors to dominate, exploit and plunder indebted third world countries. It is a major obstacle in the way of people’s sovereignty and their economic, social and cultural rights. This was observed by Stephanie Jacquemont, representative in Pakistan of the Belgium-based civil society organisation, CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt), which is spearheading an international campaign for immediate and unconditional abolition of foreign debts of the third world and advocating an end to the neo-liberal policies implemented by developed countries and international money lenders through strict structural adjustment programmes. ... More

 Pakistan: Donors urged to write off $53b debt

Islamabad. A large number of people staged a rally here on Thursday with an aim to press international donors to step forward and write off the country’s massive $53 billion debt to guarantee the Pakistani people the ‘right to life’.... More

 CADTM condemns state of emergency declared by Pervez Musharraf, for too long supported by the major powers and the World Bank

On Saturday 3 November 2007, Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency and ordered widespread repressive measures against the numerous opponents of his regime. Several activists for democracy in CADTM’s Pakistan branch were taken into custody in Lahore the same day. These decisions follow a highly contested presidential election (by indirect suffrage) won by Musharraf in totally anti-democratic circumstances. In CADTM’s view, Musharraf intends to use force to hold on to the power seized at gunpoint during the military coup d’état of October 1999.... More

 Plundering of Public Assets in Pakistan - A Chronology of Privatization

Pakistan, under the gospel of market economy is aggressively pursuing the policy of market liberalization and privatization since 1991. Government of Pakistan during 1990s after being hit by economic downturn was forced to adopt Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under IMF to reform economy suffering from macroeconomic instability. Under the SAP, it adopted the policy of market liberalization, privatization and deregulation.... More

 Debt and challenges to South Asia

Debt has become the most important problem for the countries of the developing world. The nations that are the poorest in the world are also the most highly indebted. There cannot be any doubt in the minds of economists, sociologists, political scientists or the general public that debt has become a burden for the poor nations rather than the much-advertised source of financial help to these countries. Therefore, nothing is more important than the debt question.... More

 Pakistan facing acute solvency crisis

Pakistan’s sovereign debt is going to be the riskiest. For the week ending Aug 29 2008, Government of Pakistan bonds overtook Argentina’s to be the unsafe for investment, say London financial market indicators.... More

 Rally against the Debt

In connection with Global Week of Action Against Debts, CADTM-Pakistan organized a protest demo and rally at Shimla Pahari, Lahore press club on Friday, 17th Oct. over 50 social, political and civil society activists, laborers and women participated in the rally. The marcher took a full round of the press club. They were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against policies of international financial instititutions. They were raising full-throat slogans against IMF and World Bank.... More

 Press Conference - Independent debt audit commission be formed for inquiry into Pakistan’s loan contracts made with IFIs

Independent debt audit commission be formed for inquiry into Pakistan’s loan contracts made with IFIs. Judicial inquiry be initiated into bank loans of Rs.60 billion, written off during Musharraf period.... More

 Pakistan. Peace Rally in Lahore

The busy Mall Road of Lahore (Pakistan) was all flooded with red flags on Wednesday (Dec 31, 2008) as hundreds of women, children and peace-loving citizens participated in a peace rally, jointly organized by Labor Party Pakistan, CADTM-Pakistan, Women Workers Help Line, Labor Education Foundation, Progressive Girls Association and National Trade Union Federation.... More

 Pakistan is not out of the woods

Almost a year ago in August 2008, Pakistan was at the brink of default. Its foreign exchange reserves were hitting the bottom rock of $4 billion, depleting rapidly in the range of $250 to $330 million weekly, which were hardly sufficient to fulfill requirements of one month of imports.... More

 Pakistan is not out of the woods

Almost a year ago in August 2008, Pakistan was at the brink of default. Its foreign exchange reserves were hitting the bottom rock of $4 billion, depleting rapidly in the range of $250 to $330 million weekly, which were hardly sufficient to fulfill requirements of one month of imports.... More

 Pakistan starts privatization of agriculture lands

Arab companies rush for corporate farming in Pakistan to lock up scarce water resources in agriculture belts as Federal Government offers one million acres of agriculture land to Arab monarchs, giving way to new corporate feudal system of it own kind.... More

 Arab companies rush for corporate farming to lock up scarce water resources in Pakistan

Government offers one million acres of agriculture land to Arab monarchs, giving way to new corporate feudal system of it own kind.... More

 Pakistan under influences

On the basis of a series of texts by Abdul Khaliq, the spokesperson of CADTM-Pakistan and Bushra Khaliq, the general secretary of Women Workers Help Line we would like to present an overview of the situation in Pakistan for a better understanding of the political, economic and social condition of the country. The IMF impose its conditions amidst the economic crisis... More

 Pakistan must immediately suspend reimbursement on debt to face the crisis

Almost a year ago in August 2008, Pakistan was at the brink of a default. Its foreign exchange reserves were hitting the rock bottom of $4 billion, depleting rapidly in the range of $250 to $330 million weekly, which were hardly sufficient to sustain a month’s imports. Pakistan’s sovereign debt and liabilities had crossed the $45 billion mark, the Pakistani rupee had depreciated to 23 per cent and the gap between balance of trade was widening to an alarming extent. To confront this problem, a desperate Pakistan decided to knock the IMF door, and despite strong opposition from many in the country, the government finally entered into $7.6 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) loan.... More

 Reckless borrowing from IMF-a perfect recipe of disaster

Speakers at CADTM seminar urge Pakistan to refuse payment of odious debt In connection with Global week of Action (12-18 Oct 09) against debts, Campaign for Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM) Pakistan and Action Aid Pakistan jointly organized a seminar on the topic of “Rising Debt of Pakistan and Role of IFIs” in Lahore on 14 Oct 09 at local press club. Over 70 representatives of various civil society organizations and groups, activists, academics, students, lawyers and journalists attended the event.... More

 Dancing with dictators & dictating to democracies

As in most of the developing countries, IMF funding patterns to Pakistan has been subject of intense debate, over the last three decades. Proponents and opponents of IMF have produced evidence to support their respective point of views, particularly in broader perspective of international relations. However, little effort is made to explore the genesis of funding patterns linkage with political objectives of the IMF. In order to understand this crucial aspect of IMF packages we have to go beyond the typical debate of purely economic effects of IMF policies on Pakistan.... More

 Why should Pakistan trust us?

The Afghan ‘war leaks’ have revealed in stark detail the mistrust and tension that lies at the heart of the West’s relationship with Afghanistan and Pakistan. But this mistrust is not merely the product of a nine-year war, but of decades of economic control which have sewn the seeds of inequality, injustice and appalling governance across the Muslim world.... More

 High time for flood-hit Pakistan to refuse foreign debt repayments

Press Conference at Lahore Press Club on Friday, August 13, 2010, addressed by Abdul Khaliq (CADTM-Pakistan) and Farooq Tariq (LPP) Pakistan is facing the worst disaster of its history. About 20 million of its population is badly affected by the recent huge devastation caused by angry floods. Major infrastructure is totally destroyed in major parts of the country. Besides continuous human causalities, the economic loss is in billion dollars. The country has suffered a loss of about Rs250 billion only in the agricultural and livestock sectors and the flood recovery costs may run into billions of dollars. Pakistan is in real and worst human and economic crisis. Though international donors are announcing commitments for relief and rehabilitation, but these are pea nuts vis-à-vis the degree of catastrophe.... More

 CADTM-Pakistan strategize campaign for foreign debt cancellation

To discuss debt crisis in the backdrop of the severe humanitarian and economic crisis, caused by the on-going devastating floods in Pakistan, CADTM-Pakistan organized a meeting of the group members and various representatives of civil society organizations on 21 August 2010, at CADTM office, 7/Egerton Road, Lahore. The meeting sole agenda was discussion on strategy to highlight and articulate demand for Pakistan’s debt cancellation.... More

 ’Flood-hit Pakistan has the right to repudiate external debt’

By ’state of necessity’ we mean a situation that jeopardizes the existence of a state. A natural calamity creates this state. Pakistan is passing through this state and has the just right to deny repaying its debts owed to IFIs, countries and clubs.... More

 Floods and Debt: Pakistan under a double penalty

Because of torrential rains lasting several days Pakistan is facing one of the worst predicaments in human and material terms for the last 80 years. The damage inflicted is stunning. About 22 million people are affected by the floods. Many infrastructures have been unable to withstand the onslaught of rain. Roads and harbours can no longer be used. Millions of people have had to leave their houses, and the UN estimates that there are 5 million left homeless. Makeshift refugee camps have been set up, and some 1 million people already live there in disgraceful sanitary conditions. The south of the country, and more particularly the province of Sindh, has been badly shaken by this catastrophe. Economic losses amount to billions with the farming industry severely hit, large tracts of farmland having been destroyed.... More

 Pakistan. Political parties call for Pakistan’s foreign debt cancellation, launch anti-debt movement

A Multiple Party Conference held in Lahore on 29th August resolved to launch a campaign against repayment of Pakistan’s foreign debts and organize protest rallies across the country. 28 political parties, trade unions, women groups and civil society organizations joined the conference. It was decided to initiate the campaign by rallies in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. The first rally will be organized on 2nd September in Islamabad. Senator Hasil Bezinjo, central leader of National Party pledged to raise the issue in Senate and present a resolution to demand government must refuse to pay the foreign debt.... More

 Pakistan: The only way out

There are spaces in international laws that can be invoked as legal justification to demand cancellation of debt. Pakistan is facing the worst-ever natural disaster of its history. About 20 million of its population is displaced due to recent huge devastation caused by the angry floods. Major infrastructure is totally destroyed in major parts of the country. The economic loss is in billion dollars. Foreign minister has put it as not less than $43 billion. This initial estimation may go up and above $50 billion after the final assessment report.... More

 Global Anti-debt Week Pakistan: Campaigners urge debt waiver

LAHORE, Oct 10: The anti-debt campaigners, including a foreign member visiting Pakistan to show solidarity with local activists, on Sunday urged the donor countries as well as international financial institutions to write off all foreign debts which the country owed to bilateral and multilateral creditors.... More

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