INPEG criticises IMF/WB's support for totalitarian regimes

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On Monday, Prague's Wenceslas square briefly served as a stage for a modern-day morality play. The characters consisted of a schoolgirl, a woman carrying a child, a manual worker with a family to feed and a young man. The schoolgirl had no school to go to, the mother lacked proper health care for her child, the manual worker was jobless and the young man was homeless. And the moral of the story? Their misery was caused by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which instead of financing the basic needs of these people gave money to the local military regime, at least so says the Initiative Against Economic Globalisation. Vladimir Tax was in the audience.

The event was watched by dozens of journalists, several TV crews and around twenty bemused policemen. Unfortunately, the event went almost unnoticed by the general public.

The Initiative Against Economic Globalisation or INPEG claims to be an umbrella organisation coordinating protests to accompany the IMF and World Bank annual meeting, which takes place in Prague in September. The organisation has launched a series of public rallies to inform the public of their manifesto - thorough reform of the two institutions or total abolition. Under the catchphrase "55 Years of Oppression" they highlight various negative practices of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The INPEG claims that the IMF and the World Bank have played pivotal roles in furthering corruption, poverty, military regimes and the mass violation of human rights in countries such as Chile, Indonesia, Russia, Venezuela and India, which have not only used the money lent by the IMF and World Bank to buy weapons rather than food and medicine for their people, but also used those weapons for repression or holding onto political power.

INPEG organiser Chelsea Mozen explained what the event was all about and how the campaign would continue until September's summit: While the run-up campaign before the summit is passing by with little attention from the general public, Czechs are certain to notice the protests in September when tens of thousands protesters from around the globe arrive in Prague.