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Thursday, 16 March 2023 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Advancing the 2022 Bridgetown Agenda (debate)

  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Mr President, the World Bank and IMF are colonial institutions. They belong to a bygone era designed to make rich countries richer by running up colossal debts on poor countries. We know this because since the inception of these financial institutions, we’ve had rising absolute inequality. In fact, since 1960, global inequality has tripled. So much for the world’s largest development bank.

These deeply undemocratic institutions need to be either abolished or completely reimagined if they are to be in any way helpful for tackling the combination of crises that we’re facing in this century. We have a spiralling climate crisis, and despite all our talk, we have not come to terms with the gravity of it all. By 2050, it is reckoned that we will have 1.2 billion climate refugees.

What are we going to do? How are poor countries going to rebuild homes and communities? How can this be done with the shackles of debt, the ball and chain of conditionality? We need to rewire the whole international financial system. More debt is more colonialism.

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