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· Who is the G8?



Who are the G8?

Written by Dissent Network
Saturday, 17 January 2004

The G-8, which unites seven of the world's eight largest economies in addition to Russia, will hold its summit in the UK in 2005.
Created in 1975 to informally discuss financial and economic question, this club of predominantly rich and dominant states is part of a profit-driven 'globalisation' agenda furthering the narrow interests of multinational corporations. The ecommendations of the G-8 are put into practice by international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank; these few countries are also the major shareholders of the World Trade Organisation.

The G-8, in effect, acts as a kind of world government, a role which the people of the planet never asked it to take on. The G-8 thus illegitimately imposes its will upon the world's order. The G-8 prescribes neo-liberal policies that accelerate the concentration of wealth, attack workers' rights, jeopardise employment, lower living conditions for the vast majority of the population, disrespect cultural differences, and harm the environment. While G-8 member countries refuse to seriously engage
themselves in the fight against accounting fraud, money laundering, and offshore havens, the G-8, under the auspices of the fight against terrorism, attempts to justify war, militarism, and repression.

The G-8 claims to combat world poverty, but its proposals for debt relief for poor countries have proven totally insufficient and are tied to unacceptable conditions. Furthermore, IMF policies continue to drive countries, like Argentina, into bankruptcy, market liberalisation under the aegis of the WTO each day proves itself more and more unfavourable to the countries of the southern hemisphere, and financial contributions to help in the struggle against AIDS, malaria, and other maladies are light years behind what is needed and what has been promised. G-8 member countries, finally, have taken no serious measures to protect the environment. In the past fifteen years, movements against the G-8 have multiplied. In Europe,
demonstrations against the G-8 took place in 1989 in Paris, 1996 in Lyon, 1998 in Birmingham, 1999 in Cologne. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have called for the cancellation of debt of poor countries, and in 2001 hundreds of thousands of people protested in Genoa in spite of the police repression that provoked the death of Carlo Giuliani. In this year, 2003
thousands protested against the G8 which took place in Evian, France. Geneva was besieged with four days of protests involving tens of thousands. In France, Geneva and Luassanne, activists blockaded all routes to Evian, delaying the start of the summit.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 January 2004 )

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