London (ots) - By arranging a Paris Club debt restructuring James
Baker is going against the will of Iraqis, who are demanding a fair
arbitration tribunal on Saddam's odious debt.
Justin Alexander, Coordinator of Jubilee Iraq says:
"A Paris Club debt restructuring will ignore the odious nature
debt of much of Saddam's debt. Instead it will be based on Iraq's
"financing capacity" according to the French Foreign Minister. This
means Iraq will be forced to pay large amounts of odious debt,
whitewashed by the language of "debt forgiveness", instead of only
paying the small amount of commercial debt which a fair arbitration
tribunal would judge legitimate."
"Iraq will be drained of up to $5bn a year, on top of reparations
payments and new debt, according to City brokerage Exotix. This is
deeply unjust for a battered country which is unlikely to earn more
than $20bn in 2006."
"Critically, a Paris Club restructuring will rob Iraq of economic
freedom, by requiring that it adhere to an IMF structural adjustment
program. This will mean rapid privatization, foreign asset stripping
and little support for fledgling Iraqi businesses. Iraq's freedom
will be reduced to choosing the colours of the flag and the tune of
the national anthem, while the important economic decisions will all
be made by foreign institutions which are unaccountable to Iraqi
voters, leading to an early disillusionment with democracy - fertile
ground for future Saddams."
"When Saddam goes on trial the creditors can sue him for their
debts, but the Iraqi people have suffered too much already, and do
not owe a dime for Saddam's crime."
Jubilee Iraq is a network of Iraqis and internationals, including
Sinan Al-Shabibi, the Governor of Iraq's central bank and Archbishop
Desmond Tutu. See www.jubileeiraq.org for background information and
quotes from leading Iraqis.
ots Originaltext: Jubilee Iraq