Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Green with Envy?


U.S. President George Bush & British PM Tony Blair Posted by Hello

CNN says:
Bush, Blair Push
African Debt Relief
 President pledges additional $674 million for humanitarian aid

The United States and Britain are working on a plan to provide full debt relief for African countries that are "on the path to reform," President Bush said Tuesday.

Bush's comment came after meeting at the White House with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is pushing an ambitious African aid plan as this year's chairman of the Group of Eight economic powers.

"We... agree that highly indebted developing countries that are on the path to reform should not be burdened by mountains of debt, Bush said a joint news conference with Blair.
"Our countries are developing a proposal for the G-8 that will eliminate 100 percent of that debt," Bush said.

In a compromise, Bush pledged an additional $674 million for "humanitarian emergencies" in Africa. The money will be in addition to approximately $1.4 billion the Bush administration is spending on humanitarian needs this year, a National Security Council official said.

Kate says: 

Dream on, R.P.!

I suppose you also wonder if British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George Bush can do pretty much the same thing for the indigent Republic of the Philippines. After all, we undoubtedly are a developing country “on the path to reform,” right?

Like a slap in the face, Blair’s prerequisite for what he calls a two-way commitment answered my query:

"We require the African leadership also to be prepared to make the commitment on governance against corruption -- in favor of democracy, in favor of the rule of law.”

"…No developed nation is going to want to support a government that doesn't take an interest in their people, that doesn't focus on education and health care," he said.

Now, ain’t it clear why we can never expect two of the most powerful nations to back us up the way they’re backing up these African countries?

The Philippine government can hardly commit itself to shun corruption. At the rate we’re going with moral progress, it would take a lot of nerve to say we deserve a debt relief as significant as this one.


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