Poorest Nation Debt Sparks Debate

The G8 proposal on writing off the debt of the 18 poorest countries has come under fire from an unexpected direction.

Norway - which represents Nordic countries, including Sweden- along with Belgium, Holland and Switzerland have voiced their opposition to the G8 decision.

The decision states that all debts be written off completely, that there be no new IMF conditions on the debt countries and that the IMF has to write off its debt itself.

”No” to all points say the protesting IMF member states. They believe that the International Monetary Fund should not have to write off the debt itself. They say the organisation should be allowed to dictate economic policy and that writing off debts should be gradual.

This tactic has angered African members of the IMF.

The Swedish government has not escaped criticism. Protests are pouring in from Forum Syd - an umbrella organisation representing 200 Swedish organisations working to provide development assistance and information on global issues.

But the Government here says opposition to the G8 proposal has been misinterpreted. They say clarity over where the money to write off the debts is coming from is all that’s being called for.