Wednesday, January 05, 2005

SO THE US is stingy with it's tsunami-relief aid, eh? Well, all the media in Spain, and apparently quite a few abroad, are echoing the fact that the Spanish government has made one of the biggest pledges:
The European Commission has so far donated $45 million from the EU's common budget, and has said $408 million is available. Among individual EU nations, Britain has pledged $95 million, Sweden $75.5 million and Spain $68 million.
Which is bullshit. Only 5 million Euros (roughly $6.5 million) are real donations. All the rest, that is, almost $70 million, are so-called Development Aid Funds, that is a scheme of low-interest loans (link in Spanish) by the Spanish government to undeveloped countries under the condition that they're spent in Spanish products. It's means they're little more than mere subsidized exports, and will grow the affected countries' foreign debt. NGOs are quite unhappy about this, and rightly so.

And at the same time, the Spanish government grandiously claims it backs debt moratorium for quake-hit countries.