[DEBATE] : Our pro-rich, neo-liberal system allows men like Mandelson to thrive -(see Christian Aid comment)

Riaz K Tayob riaz.tayob at gmail.com
Tue Oct 14 09:33:18 BST 2008


See below article on EPAs and Mandelson, for an entertaining picture go to:

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/45619,opinion,how-guyana-brought-out-the-bully-in-mandelson-matthew-carr 
regards, karin



How Guyana brought out the bully in Mandy Our pro-rich, neo-liberal 
system allows men like Mandelson to thrive, says MATTHEW CARR

Peter Mandelson donned his ermine robes and took his seat in the Lords 
yesterday, allowing him to return to the Cabinet. However, his 
spectacular political resurrection was marred by further sleaze 
allegations, this time regarding his possibly nepotistic relationship 
with a Russian billionaire.

According to the Sunday Times, the former EU Trade Commissioner recently 
enjoyed the hospitality of the aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska on his 
£80 million yacht in Corfu. Mandelson has denied these reports and 
rejected suggestions that his relationship with Deripaska might have 
anything to do with the EU's forthcoming reduction on tariffs on imports 
of raw aluminium from six to three per cent. The reports have again 
raised question marks about the "flawed judgment" of the scandal-prone 
politician known as "the prince of darkness". But the discussions about 
Mandelson's character miss a more

fundamental point about the economic and political realities of the 
world we now inhabit.

One of Mandelson's last acts as EU Trade Commissioner was to threaten 
Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the world, with financial 
penalties that could amount to €70m a year because the Guyanese 
government has so far refused to join an Economic Partnership Agreement 
(EPA) between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the European Union.

Guyana has criticised various "anti-developmental" conditions of the 
agreement, including the relaxation of barriers on foreign investment 
and clauses on intellectual property rights that would make it more 
difficult for Caribbean countries to patent their own generic medicines.

Similar criticisms of the EU's "free trade colonialism" have been made 
by other developing countries involved in the EPA negotiations. Various 
NGOs have also condemned the agreement, arguing that weak Caribbean 
economies will be swamped by more powerful European producers. Christian 
Aid has urged Caribbean governments not to sign the agreement,





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