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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Labor & Economics

World Economic Forum Considers the Poor

French President Jacques Chirac was snowed in, but addressed the WEF by video, encouraging an international tax to alleviate poverty and aids. This years' gathering is also reportedly laced with strong anti-war sentiments, viewing prolonged US engagement in Iraq as an obstacle to global progress.
A number of US Senators will be arriving today, lead by Gordon Smith of Oregon, and including Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.), Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.). Their next stop will be Paris, where they will meet with Chirac and other French leaders on matters of bilateral interest.

Although Chirac's speech was encouraging, and somewhat surprising to those concerned about ethical globalization, it is yet to be seen whether this will evolve toward a concrete proposal like the Tobin Tax, that would seek to protect world markets from the depredation of speculators. In an update from Marketwatch, Christopher Noble reported:

The French president said nations could apply a very low tax to a fraction of international financial transactions of some $3 trillion a day. It would need to be based on cooperation between the major world financial markets to keep people from evading it.
The WEF has NGO consultative status with the United Nations, and could have a important influence. But it for it's 35 years of existance, it has also served another purpose: which is simply to be a nexus for high level deals discretely made between long term players in global economics. It's not a surprise that all the oil companies are well represented, and The American Free Press reports that recently convicted currency speculator George Soros attended, along with the directors of Interpol, the European police force.

They also reported
Israeli Yosef A. Maiman, the former Mossad agent who is responsible for developing the extensive natural gas reserves of Turkmenistan, was also at Davos. The plan to exploit Turkmenistan’s gas involves building a pipeline across Afghanistan to Pakistan and beyond.
Tony Blair will be addressing the forum today, defending the current US stance in Iraq. It will be interesting to see how well his act is received, since the US does not seem to be in fashion this year at Davos.

David Roknich



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