Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-05-17-Speech-3-158"

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"Mr President, there is no point flogging a dead horse. This is why the disastrous vicious circle of loans, debts and new loans must be broken. The immense repayment costs prevent any form of development. There is hardly any money left for education, health care or for building well-functioning government machinery. Debt relief is therefore a matter of extreme urgency. This should be facilitated in a joint effort involving all creditors, the Union, the States, especially the United States, international institutions and banks. However, a very broad strategy will not get us much further. The debt cancellation programmes must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each individual country. It is essential in this respect to tackle not just the social problems, but also to lay a firm foundation for sustainable economic development. If this fails to materialise, then foreign investments will not be forthcoming either. A prerequisite for relieving debts is sound financial housekeeping within the governments concerned. We should not be naïve about this. We can no longer write out blank cheques. In the past, billions never reached the intended causes. A great deal of money got into the hands of corrupt regimes which allowed Swiss banks to benefit from the large-scale theft of development aid. When will the civilised world finally realise that countries which maintain banking secrecy are accessory to huge crimes at the expense of the poorest population groups. The IMF and the World Bank started an initiative back in 1996 to relieve the debts of the poorest countries. Last summer, the conditions were amended, with good reason. Aid was made conditional upon tangible results. It would be wonderful if the European Union and the Member States were to take a generous stance if the conditions were met. Let us do everything possible to help the poorest countries fight poverty. This can work if the victim is involved in his own rescue."@en1

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