» 07/11/2012, 00.00
INDONESIA - FMI
Indonesia provides a mega loan of one billion dollars to save the EU
The decision is the result of binding agreements between Jakarta and the International Monetary Fund signed during the G-20. For the opposition the maneuver will afflict the population even more. The country already has a deficit of 36 billion dollars. In a meeting with the Indonesian President, Christine Lagarde warns that no country is immune from the crisis of the euro.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesia will have to pay the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of one billion dollars. Experts say the
sum is a kind of interest for the economic aid provided by the IMF during the
financial crisis of 1998. The news, confirmed by Hatta Radjasa, Minister for
Economic Affairs, has sparked harsh criticism from the opposition, which
accuses the government of having accepted the IMF's dictates without consulting
parliament. The loan was signed in a meeting between Christine Lagarde, the IMF
General Secretary, and President Yudhoyono held yesterday in Jakarta. After the
meeting, the IMF chief said to the Indonesian media that "no country in
the world is immune from the crisis of the euro". The request is part of
the loan agreements signed at the summit of the G-20 in Mexico, forcing
Indonesia to support the IMF.
I Gusti Agung Rai Wirajaya, a member of the Indonesian
Democratic Party Struggle (PDIP), calls the move
"reckless" and stresses that the country already has several debts
with the Asian Devolpment Bank, the World Bank and the Australian government.
The interest will be paid with a tax increase that will impoverish all
Indonesian citizens. Other criticisms come from Megawati Soekarnoputri,
former Indonesian president, according to whom the move is damaging, unnecessary
and "will increase the suffering of the population." In recent months
the government has revealed a deficit in the treasury of billion.
Agus Martowardoyo, Minister of Finance, defends the
government's decision and explained that the loan will not affect state
coffers, but will be disbursed through the treasury bills of the Central Bank
of Indonesia. The minister said the money paid to the IMF is an act of goodwill
towards an institution which in 1998 saved the country from the financial
crisis that had forced President Suharto to resign. It is also a gesture of
friendship to the countries of Europe, whose crisis is also affecting the
The protests are forcing the government to reduce the price of gasoline
The 33% increase would have taken effect tomorrow. Yesterday, more than 15,000 people blocked the center of Jakarta, clashing with police. Dozens of injured officers and shops that have been attacked. Even parliament is rejecting the increases.
Indonesia rediscovers microbusiness as solution to unemployment
Exports are collapsing (-36% in January), and unemployment is on the rise from already high levels. With no better prospects, the unemployed are reinventing small businesses, like food carts. The government is financing projects to foster microbusiness. These also include handmade cigarettes.
Chinese import-export drops. Doubts about recovery
Exports grew by 4.9, but forecast increase was 8.5. Imports grew by only 0.3 compared to 5.3 in March and 11% forecast. Domestic demand in sharp decline. At the Canton Fair orders down by 2.3% compared to last year.
China increases its gold reserves
Experts maintain that Beijing wants to increase its gold reserves to 5,000 tons, to protect itself from the global crisis and the possible devaluation of the dollar. It now has about 31 billion dollars worth of gold, but foreign currency reserves of 1.95 trillion.
Philippines, faith and family to overcome economic crisis and unemployment
The churches of the country are crowded with faithful. They are praying for a job, for a successful interview, to pass an exam at the university. Recent estimates show 300,000 unemployed in the first six months of 2009.
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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