MANILA, Philippines – As the first female chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the country for the first time and met with Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III Friday morning, debt watchdog Freedom from Debt Coalition staged a protest near the Malacañan Palace, in solidarity with the peoples of the Eurozone.
“For FDC, the IMF is dead, a walking dead,” said the group’s president, Ricardo Reyes. “The sooner we bury this economic zombie, the better for the economies and the peoples of the world.”
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrived Thursday afternoon and met with the President Friday, ostensibly to solicit insights on how to solve the Eurozone economic crisis and also to advise the Philippine government to rationalize tax incentives granted to business. She is in the country as part of a visit to Southeast Asia. She is also scheduled to attend a meeting of ASEAN nations in Cambodia early next week.
In a statement, FDC said that Lagarde’s coming and her reception by the Philippine government evokes a surreal scene. “This institution has been widely dismissed as monstrous failure to stabilize the global financial system and as a wrecker of developing economies,” it said.
“No amount of persuasion and distortion of history can redeem the IMF from its pathetic track record – its failure to predict many crises of regional and global impacts, including the US financial crisis; its counterproductive prescriptions to such crises, and its policy conditionalities to its loans to many developing countries, like the Philippines, which drove them deeper into debt and maldevelopment. For all these reasons, the IMF should have long been consigned to oblivion and death,” FDC said.
“But no, the G-20, especially the G-7 masters of global finance capitalism has artificially resuscitated it with a new mission: to push for the same old rotten prescriptions of monetary tightening and fiscal contraction or austerity measures, this time, in Eurozone countries in crisis while promoting countercyclical macroeconomic policies like expansionary spending and investments to counter the recession in the US and Western Europe,” added FDC.
“We, Filipinos, were once victims and, until now, suffer the grave consequences of the structural adjustment programs (SAPs) imposed by the IMF on us in the 1980s. Now, we witness once again the grave consequences of IMF’s recycled mantra, as our fate will be the same fate of the peoples of the Eurozone under the IMF’s direction. Massive cuts in public spending and the negative multiplier effects they generate have led to massive unemployment and collapse of social services. Consequently, this will result in intensifying global inequality between the North and the South, and between the 99% of the North and their super, super-rich elites,” FDC said.
“We, in FDC, join the peoples of the Eurozone who are currently on strike. The IMF should not be permitted to spread socioeconomic diseases through its vile, anti-people and neoliberal policies here in the Philippines, or in the Eurozone, or in any other country,” FDC said.
Ireland cannot continue to sacrifice everything, even people’s lives, in order to balance the books, writes Brendan O’Connor
YOUNGER readers won’t believe this but there used to be a time when the IMF was the bogeyman in this country. If we didn’t behave ourselves, the IMF would come and there would be no pussyfooting around. They would slash public sector wages in half and double taxes and get our house in order in jig time. This was before we learnt to live quite casually with the fact that we are no longer an independent country and that we are subject to something called the troika, one third of which is the IMF.
That would have been unthinkable back in the day, that we would not be governing ourselves. Back then, it was regarded as the ultimate shame if the IMF had to come to a country. It was something that happened to banana republics in South America and basket cases in Africa. The IMF had come to the UK once but that was an aberration, apparently. It really wasn’t something that could ever happen in so-called developed countries.
Little did we think that we would look back and wish that we had invited in the IMF, that they were in charge. Little did we think that the IMF would turn out to be the most reasonable foreign ruler a country could hope to have. But we didn’t manage to get just the IMF in. Instead we got saddled with EU zealots as well, and despite the IMF’s increasing best efforts, we are still being slowly ground into the dust.
While the IMF used to have the name of being all about making people balance the books fast, it has become an increasingly pragmatic and realistic institution in the last few years. It has tended to be the most sceptical of the big international institutions when it comes to austerity at all costs, and it has been the one that has cautioned most about the need for growth as well. This surprises some people because the IMF is regarded as a right-wing organisation stuffed with Yankee capitalists (the worst kind). But then again dismay about austerity has not been limited to the left. It has been, as Fr Jack would say, an ecumenical matter. Only the other day I found myself in heartfelt agreement with a press release that arrived in my email from Joan Collins TD. In terms of economists, there has been agreement from across the left-right spectrum that austerity unchecked could be as, if not more, dangerous than capitalism unchecked was.
The IMF took its distaste for austerity a step or two forward last week. Christine Lagarde has now upset a lot of people, and attracted much criticism internationally, by coming out and saying straight that Greece and Spain should be given more time to balance their budgets. Her point seems to be that when there are so many countries engaged in austerity, it doesn’t make sense for them all to do it so quickly at the same time.
If all the mosquitoes were to die off, how many frogs would die? The Same principle applies to our financial system. Our economy is just like an ecosystem; you remove a massive part, and all you can do is watch the dominoes fall. Shock therapy on a colossal scale hurts very badly. You need to transition slowly so that it isn’t an avalanche. What we have is a landslide into poverty and ignorance.
How many more austerity incisions must we suffer, which will only further lay waste to our economy and do nothing to close their budget deficit. How long will it take, before people, realize “Hey, this doesn’t work.” In every single country subject to Austerity, growth has come in below expectations and in almost all cases has resulted in negative growth.
The system as applied at present does not work and will not work now or in the future.
Make your voice heard and make it count.
The squeezing of the elderly and yet they want more
So far, benefit losses to older people.
The demise of the Christmas bonus,
Implementation of Universal Social Charge
Prescription charges, electricity levy
Introduction of household charge,
Reduction in the Fuel Allowance from 32 to 26 weeks,
Increased tax on home heating fuel,
Reduction in medical card cover for dentistry,
Increases in Vat and Dirt (tax on savings),
Cuts in frontline health and social care services
Rising costs of medical insurance;
Yet to kick in water and carbon tax charges
And yet the ghouls want more
European Minister Lucinda Creighton has said she is extremely confident a deal can be reached to improve the terms of Ireland’s bailout “relatively quickly”.
This Lady has no idea what she is talking about waffle without substance seems to be her level of expertise.
My understanding of improving the terms goes hand in hand with more suffering
Embrace positivity was the advice of Minister of State Michael Ring when he officially opened the Tullamore visitors centre.
Maybe he had too much morning dew when he made that statement. Minister we wait with baited breath for you to deliver positivity. Perhaps it is your wish the citizens should die of asphyxiation.
Strong Support to Make the Country’s Debt More Sustainable
Mr Noonan said Ireland now has what he termed “very strong support at political level” to make the country’s debt more sustainable.
He declined to say what countries might have lobbied the ECB on Ireland’s behalf, but did highly praise International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde. Did he pay the ugly witch a complement?
He said that the next pressure point is March, when Ireland is expected to pay €3bn.
The minister said he was no in rush to complete the deal as it might affect its quality.
This is no more than the usual bluster, blabber, palaver we expect from Skint Piggy when he fails to achieve the stated aims.
asked if this ‘oul democracy’ was too much to be bothering with … his reply: Democracy … “needs to be managed”, “You need a strong party system and a strong whip system”
This is how the vested interest rules; all the parties follow this practice, and the result is that, in reality, private clubs and inner circles decide everything. This is one of the key ways in which politicians commandeer democracy and leave your democratic rights in the land of nowhere.
This man is a true blue a fascist at heart how well he would sit with the likes of Mussolini and Hitler but then again, I suspect his mould is more akin to that of a trujillisto.