Jubilee Iraq

Baker's mission on Saddam's debt may undermine Iraqi democracy

    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
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch

Justin Alexander
Phoen:  +44/7813/137171
E-Mail: Justin@jubileeiraq.org

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