from MintPressNews Website
A demonstrator holds a banner
against International Monetary Fund
during a protest in Quito, Ecuador, May 18, 2020.
Photo | Dolores Ochoa.
Editing by MintPress News
since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic
come attached with demands for deep cuts to
public services and policies that
benefit corporations over people...
The principal cheerleader for neoliberal austerity measures across the globe for decades, the IMF has recently (quietly) begun admitting that these policies have not worked and generally make problems like,
Furthermore, they have also failed even to bring the promised economic growth that was meant to counteract these negative effects.
Thus, its own reports explicitly state its policies do not work...
Oxfam has identified at least 14 countries that it expects will imminently freeze or cut public sector wages and jobs.
Tunisia, for example, has only 13 doctors per 10,000 people.
Any cuts to its already scant healthcare system would cripple it in its fight against the coronavirus.
An IMF case study
Ecuador is a perfect example of the consequences of IMF actions.
Previously ruled by the radical administration of Rafael Correa, who made poverty reduction a priority, condemned the IMF and its sister organization the World Bank (WB), and gave asylum to Western dissidents like Julian Assange, the country has been ruled by Lenin Moreno since 2017.
Moreno immediately began unpicking Correa's legacy, even attempting to prosecute him.
In 2019, on orders from the IMF, Moreno slashed the country's health budget by 36 percent in exchange for a $4.2 billion loan from the IMF, a move which provoked massive, nationwide protests that threatened to derail his administration.
The results were near-apocalyptic, as the country's largest city, Guayaquil, became the worldwide hotspot for coronavirus, with bodies left to rot in the streets for days as services were overwhelmed.
The city suffered more deaths than New York City at its height, and with far less infrastructure to deal with the problem.
While the official number of cases in the country is low, the death rate has been among the highest in the world, suggesting that services have been completely overwhelmed.
Earlier this month, Moreno announced a new $6.5 billion deal with the IMF, who has advised his government to,
In crisis, opportunity
The IMF also directly interferes with the internal politics of sovereign nations.
In March, it refused to lend to the Venezuelan government because of the "lack of clarity" about who was in charge, suggesting that the democratically-elected Nicolas Maduro would have to step down before they would consider lending to the country.
At the same time, however, self-declared president and opposition figure Juan Guaidó announced that he had secured a $1.2 billion commitment from the organization on the proviso that Maduro resigns and allow an "emergency government" to take control of the country.
A poll taken in the same month by a sympathetic pollster found that only three percent of Venezuelans backed Guaidó...
In crisis, there is always opportunity.
It appears that, if the organization has its way, that it will be the poor who pay for the pandemic, while the rich prosper...