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First things first. A piece of goods news for Bolivia and the newly elected government. It seems Evo Morales will be starting his government on the right track, even thoug he did not have anything to do with it.
The IMF announced yesterday it was releaving 100 percent of Bolivia's debt with the organism under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). This announcemnt was made by Rodrigo Rato, Managing Director of the IMF. Rato said:
"I am delighted to announce that the IMF will grant 100 percent debt relief to 19 countries under the MDRI (including remaining HIPC assistance) amounting to SDR 2.3 billion (about US$ 3.3 billion). This is an historic moment, which will allow these countries to increase spending in priority areas to reduce poverty, promote growth, and to make progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. These countries should receive this debt relief in early 2006."
The other countries to recieve the benefits of the MDRI are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
This must be a well received piece of news, not only for Bolivia, but for the entering government. The relief effort will start on January 1, 2006 and will give the tight Bolivian budget much needed room. The IMF stands ready to lend Bolivia more money to support programs to eradicate poverty, start growth and to achieve the Millenium goals.
On another piece of news, there was a joke played on Evo Morales on Monday by this guy. His name is Federico Jimenez Losantos. He conducts a radio program called "La Manana" in cadena COPE, a Spanish media network owned by the Spanish Catholic Church. Mr Jimenez got the bright idea to call Evo Morales to congratulate him for his victory. Up to then there is no harm, but, Jimenez did it in the name of the Spanish government and furthermore he impersonated the Spanish president Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. You can even hear the phone call in this link. The whole thing is in Spanish, of course, but if you can understand it, it is pretty funny.
Well, It seems like a nice joke, right? No harm done. Not so, the Bolivian government has gottent really upset and has complained to the Spanish government. Now the Spanish government has taken the issue to the Vatican because the radio network, as stated earlier, belongs to the Catholic Church.
Press in Spanish about the issue:
Moratinos pide al Vaticano que evite “hechos deplorables“ como la llamada a Evo Morales
Torpeza de comediante afecta relacion bilateral
Un humorista de la cadena COPE conversó con Evo Morales haciéndose pasar por Zapatero
FEDERICO JIMÉNEZ LOSANTOS
La Conferencia Episcopal admite que la broma es «inaceptable» y que la COPE debe disculparse
Una avería fortuita silencia a la cadena COPE en Cataluña durante hora y media
Update: An interesting comment by Fistful of Euros can be read in this Link.