He is an ideologue of the creation of the Bank of the South

Paraguay. The Belgian who met with the president is an adviser to Correa and works with Chavez.

27 December 2008 by ABC Digital


Eric Toussaint, the Belgian who met with the President of the Republic and then with a group of ministers, is one of the advisers to the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and works closely with the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. He is one of the ideologists of the Bank of the South.

Yesterday in the Presidential Palace President Fernando Lugo received the Belgian Eric Toussaint, an adviser to Rafael Correa and a close aide to President Hugo Chavez.

The President of the Republic, Fernando Lugo, spent most of Tuesday morning meeting with Eric Toussaint, an adviser to the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa who also collaborates with Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela. The visitor arrived at the Palace together with the vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Lara Castro, who introduced him to the President of the Republic. The visit lasted from 8 to 11 o’clock and also included a meeting with a group of ministers and the head of the binational entity Itaipu.

Toussaint was a speaker in the international symposium organised by Chavez in November 2007 entitled “Building a new international financial architecture for South American integration and South-South cooperation”. From 8 to 11 October this year, he was also in Caracas (Venezuela) as an international panellist in the conference “Answers from the South to the global economic crisis”, organised by the Centro Internacional Miranda, an institution supported by Chavez for the dissemination of ideas. He even signed the final declaration which, among other things, says “The international financial crisis highlighted the complicity of IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

http://imf.org
, World Bank World Bank
WB
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

, IDB with the transnational banks which triggered off the current collapse and its tremendous social consequences. These organisms are clearly discredited. The countries of the region have the opportunity, following the example of Bolivia, to withdraw from the ICSID ICSID The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is a World Bank arbitration mechanism for resolving disputes that may arise between States and foreign investors. It was established in 1965 when the Washington Convention of that year entered into force.

Contrary to some opinions defending the fact that ICSID mechanism has been widely accepted in the American hemisphere, many States in the region continue to keep their distance: Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic are not party to the Convention. In the case of Mexico, this attitude is rated by specialists as “wise and rebellious”. We must also recall that the following Caribbean States remain outside the ICSID jurisdiction: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica (Commonwealth of) and Suriname. In South America, Brazil has not ratified (or even signed) the ICSID convention and the 6th most powerful world economy seems to show no special interest in doing so.

In the case of Costa Rica, access to ICSID system is extremely interesting: Costa Rica signed the ICSID Convention in September, 1981 but didn’t ratify it until 12 years later, in 1993. We read in a memorandum of GCAB (Global Committee of Argentina Bondholders) that Costa Rica`s decision resulted from direct United States pressure due to the Santa Elena expropriation case, which was decided in 2000 :
"In the 1990s, following the expropriation of property owned allegedly by an American investor, Costa Rica refused to submit the dispute to ICSID arbitration. The American investor invoked the Helms Amendment and delayed a $ 175 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to Costa Rica. Costa Rica consented to the ICSID proceedings, and the American investor ultimately recovered U.S. $ 16 million”.

https://icsid.worldbank.org/apps/ICSIDWEB/Pages/default.aspx
; and, taking up Venezuela’s call, to withdraw from IMF and Word Bank, and to begin to help building a new international financial architecture
”.

The Belgian political scientist is almost an inevitable reference in almost all web portals of the Venezuelan Government (see copies) and is moreover one of the ideologists of the creation of the Bank of the South launched by Chavez.

Until now the national government has not made clear the terms of Toussaint’s collaboration nor has he specified in which capacity he met with the ministers. It was not clarified either how or by whom he was brought to the country and if it will be of any cost.

CANCEL THE DEBT

Eric Toussaint is currently president of the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM), created on March 15th 1990 in Belgium. He is an adviser to the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on external debt and the creation of the Bank of the South.

The CADTM is an international institution which took part, among others, in the international Jubilee 2000 campaign, between 2001 and 2003, is involved in the preparation of the World Social Forum, whose first three editions took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil. In November 2002, through the European Social Forum, the CADTM appealed for a global demonstration against the war in Iraq.

From the Paraguayan daily paperABC Color (25th December 2008)

Translated by Stéphanie Jacquemont




Translation(s)

CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

35 rue Fabry
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 226 62 85
info@cadtm.org

cadtm.org