Debt Relief!

35551jamaican_dollarThough not for Greece, at least not for now. Nevertheless, as we have been following the story of ‘Grexits’ and ‘agreekments’ with A. Tsipras, Y. Varoufakis et al as protagonists, the ECLAC has been singing a different tune to monotone official Europe.

In fact, Alicia Bárcena, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), will be putting forward a proposal to have ALL multi-lateral debt owed by Caribbean island states written off! This will be discussed in mid-July during the Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in Ethiopia.

The ECLAC statement doesn’t mince its words, speaking of a “write-off of total multilateral external public debt” for Caricom states. The claim is really very simple: no “sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” can be attained with current debt levels. And, furthermore, this this debt cannot be justified in the somewhat moralistic and preachy terms often used to refer to Greek debt by Northern Europe and ‘centrist’ politicians and voters.

As regards this latter point, the statement reads thus:

ECLAC contends that the tax adjustments needed to reduce debt to sustainable levels would be so tough that they would put countries into recession. Additionally, the organization stresses that this debt has not been the result of political errors, poor fiscal management or the global financial crisis, but rather stems from external shocks, aggravated by the inherent vulnerability affecting the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean, and the decline in foreign direct investments in recent decades”.

More, through here. And a good slide presentation on the proposal by ECLAC Deputy Executive Secretary, Antonio Prado, though here.


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