How do Czechs see upcoming IMF/WB session

The first seminars concerning the IMF/World Bank begin in Prague this week, bringing with them thousands of protesters from all around the world. But how do the people of Prague feel about their center-stage role, the two weeks that lie ahead of them, and the policies of the IMF itself? Beatrice Cady went out onto the streets to find out:

A young man told me that he thought the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank had frequently broken their promises and had not conducted good polices in the Third World. He claimed the money sent to the Third World was increasingly used by autocratic regimes to support the army as well as their own bank accounts, and that the IMF were careless about where the money went.

Another man will be working as a driver for the IMF meeting, despite being critical of the organisation. He admitted it was hypocritical of him to work for the IMF, but that at the same time he would be taking part in a citizen's initiative to maintain security with the police. He added that being within the structure was an easier way to keep control over the events in Prague and that it would also enable him to take some photos for his Internet magazine.

This young woman works in a cosmetic shop on Wenceslas Square: This was a sentiment shared by many other people working on Wenceslas Square, most of whom told me that although they sympathised with the protestors, they didn't really know what people were protesting about.

Author: Beatrice Cady
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