Inequality and Inadequate Policies: A looming crisis in guatemala Jayati Ghosh

Exotic and beautiful birds grace the trees in the garden of the elegant hotel, a sixteenth-century convent converted into a luxury facility. The birds occasionally squawk, but they do not move from their branches because they can no longer fly. They have had their wings clipped, and are placed in their positions by the staff every morning so that their magnificent plumage can be admired by the hotel's guests. This practice can work as a metaphor for the combination of beauty and cruelty that characterizes the Central American country of Guatemala. The town of Antigua Guatemala, just an hour's drive…

The Justice and Development Party in Turkey Menderes Cinar

The results of the November 3, 2002 general elections marks a potential turning point in Turkish politics, not just because only two of the eighteen competing parties managed to pass the 10% national threshold, but also because a recently established party with Islamist roots, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), won a landslide victory. The AKP, founded as an offspring of the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) on August 14, 2001, obtained 34.2% of the votes cast and 363 of the 550-seats in the parliament, while the center-left Republican Peoples Party (CHP) won 178 seats for its 19.4% of votes. Both…

The Sydney Ministerial Parthapratim Pal

On 14th and 15th of November 2002, ministers representing 25[1] of the 145 WTO member countries gathered in Sydney to informally discuss the progress of the Doha Development Agenda and to prepare the ground for the next ministerial meet at Cancun, Mexico. Though a number of issues including agricultural trade reform, market access for developing countries and various TRIPS related issues were on the agenda for this mini-ministerial meet, reports indicate that 'Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health' got maximum attention in this meeting. The "Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health" recognizes the right of…

Exclusive with The President elect of Brazil

"We cannot be treated as a banana republic Luis Inacio da Silva affirms that his government will reclaim the Brazilian economy's weight in the international context: "We have to occupy the space that belongs to us and be respected”. "Trade must be a two-way street where everyone comes out a winner without the subjection of some" BY DEISY FRANCIS MEXIDOR "My principal reason for becoming president of Brazil is to give our country a new direction," affirms Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, the recently elected leader of that South American nation after standing on three previous occasions, in an exclusive…

Nepal’s woes: Instability, Inequality, Insurgency and the IMF-WB Mohan G Francis

Nepal's biggest Hindu festival Dasain was preceded by the first post-1990 constitutional dismissal of the sitting elected Prime Minister and his government. The Prime Minister's supposed failure was his acceptance of his government's inability to hold the scheduled elections under peaceful conditions due to the threat of the Maoist insurgency. The persisting inequality, particularly between the urban and the rural areas, has caused the insurgency to grow in terms of geographical spread, ferocity of attacks and rural hold in spite of a year of emergency that allowed for the Royal Nepal Army to take them on. As if to add…

Paraguay: Political chaos amidst economic crisis Ranja Sengupta

Political confusion and violent protests have recently rocked the small nation of Paraguay. The situation has been steadily growing out of control, rendering increasingly vulnerable the position of the current president, Gonzalez Machhi. Protestors have been demanding his resignation and reversal of the free market policies that the government has been trying to push through. The intensity of the protests in July brought on a declaration of internal emergency. President Machhi has alienated members of his own Colorado Party as well as those of the opposition parties with whom he had formed an alliance of 'National Unity' in 1999. If…

The IMF bail-out for Brazil: In whose interests? Sabyasachi Mitra

The recently announced IMF loan to Brazil, worth US$30 billion, holds out the promise of taking the Brazilian economy out of the woods. But even a cursory look at the conditions attached to it makes one realize that the loan, rather than take Brazil out of the woods (into which the IMF itself has led the country), will actually force it deeper into the forest. The strings attached to the IMF bail-out package evoke the fear that it will serve as a stranglehold on the Brazilian economy and an intrusion on the sovereignty of that country, coming as it does…

Fury at Byers bail out for Air Traffic Jill Treanor, Patrick Wintour and Keith Harper

Stephen Byers, the transport secretary, was plunged into a new political crisis last night after it emerged the taxpayer is to throw a £30m lifeline to the part-privatised national air traffic control system. Under an emergency package being thrashed out with the City banks that financed the controversial £750m sell-off last summer, the government, a 49% stakeholder in Nats, is being forced to offer the loan as the price for their continuing support. The banks - Barclays Capital, Abbey National, HBOS and Bank of America - will stump up a matching £30m sum and are demanding a new business plan…