Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When the World Bank Lends A Helping Hand.....

A moment of seriousness....

With the economic crisis in Greece, one reads about the World Bank stepping in along with the European Union, coming up with a way to bail out a country in trouble. Some big figures are being bandied about, to the tune of 60 billion dollars or more. It is a loan, and with all loans, there must be some type of collateral to insure the repayment of the loan.

If the past can be used to predict the future, Greece is in big trouble.

Part of the problem

World Bank conditions

Water privatization

Sociologist Michael Goldman has argued that “Industry analysts predict that private water will soon be a capitalized market as precious, and as war-provoking, as oil”.[48] Goldman says “These days, an indebted country cannot borrow capital from the World Bank or IMF without a domestic water privatization policy as a precondition”.[49] The Bank is utilizing “the 'Washington Consensus' model of "development" to promote water privatization.

Following this model, the World Bank is forcing many countries to commodify their water resources, rather than using their expertise in the public sector to acknowledge water as a universal human right and an essential public service”.[50] The push for water privatization development plays upon “the shocking tragedy that much of the world lacks affordable clean water”. This image creates “new opportunities in development, though it may have little to do with ultimately quenching” the needs of impoverished countries.

“The problem of water scarcity for the world’s poor has been analyzed by the World Bank as one in which the public sector has failed to deliver, and has therefore prevented development from “taking off”, and the economy from modernizing. If the state cannot deliver something as basic as water and sanitation, the argument goes, it is a strong indication of a general failure of public-sector capacity”.[51] However, “with the sale or lease of a public good comes more than simply a privatized service; alongside it comes a wide set of postcolonial institutional forces that intervene in state-citizen relations and North-South dynamics”.[52]

Sovereign immunity

Despite claiming goals of “good governance and anti-corruption″[53] the World Bank requires sovereign immunity from countries it deals with.[54][55][56][57][58] Sovereign immunity waives a holder from all legal liability for their actions. It is proposed that this immunity from responsibility is a “shield which [The World Bank] wants resort to, for escaping accountability and security by the people.”[54] As the United States has veto power, it can prevent the World Bank from taking action against its interests.[54]

At this time, Greece will not be allowed to leave the Euro and the European Union.
Any country that excepts the loan is doomed. They will not be able to pay more then the interest, never paying off the original loan. What will the future hold for Greece, we will see.

This is only the beginning.

click on title for Wikipedia article
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