who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Ecuador and Wolfowitz Is the scandal creating political space for governments? Is Ecuador’s expulsion of a World Bank staff person related to Wolfowitz dragging the Bank down?

Today’s announcement that Rafael Correa has suspended World Bank aid and expelled a World Bank staff person was a long time coming, but the timing calls up questions of when governments think they can take on the Bank. As this Fox News article explains, the arm twisting which Correa accuses the Bank of dates from one of Wolfowitz’s early directives at the Bank. The directive to pressure Ecuador not to change laws governing oil revenues was 100% in line with U.S. foreign policy – completely coincidentally, of course. See this Bank Information Center article for more details of the original policies. Could other governments use the current situation to follow Ecuador’s lead? I hope so.

Update, Alex Wilks, 27 April 2007
My colleague Gail Hurley, currently in Ecuador, was at the press conference where finance minister Ricardo Patiño made this announcement. She adds the following: "Patiño said that he basically gave the WB representative 72 hours to explain the actions the Bank took in 2005 when it suspended an already agreed loan following reform of the FEIREP law after a parliamentary process. He received no response from the World Bank at all so he declared that its representative was not welcome in Ecuador and was a persona non grata!"

Sameer Dossani ~ April 27, 2007

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