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Brazil to push for ‘more democratic’ IMF


New York : Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said he would urge the G20 countries to reform the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that he believes was partly responsible for the current global crisis.

The heads of state of G20 will meet in London next month to discuss the global economic crisis and various other issues.

“Brazil will present concrete proposals in the London summit with the aim of making the IMF more democratic,” Lula told a forum in New York organised by the Wall Street Journal and Brazilian business publication Valor Economico Monday.

“The present circumstances demonstrate the collapse of the mechanisms of global governance, which include the multilateral institutions, particularly the IMF and the World Bank,” the visiting head of state said.

“It’s very important that the IMF supervise the developed economies in the same way it has done with poor and developing countries,” Lula told executives and investors at a Manhattan hotel.

Both the IMF and the World Bank, he added, should “avoid acting with the arrogance they have exhibited in the past”.

Lula sought to reassure that Brazil is facing the current world recession from an unprecedented position of strength, enabling Latin America’s largest economy to avoid the kind of collapse it experienced all too often in past international crises.

“We will grow less than expected in 2009, less than we would have done if not for this external crisis,” Lula said. “But we will grow.”

Lula said his government stands ready to do everything necessary to ensure that the financial crisis does not erase the gains achieved by the social programmes he launched on taking office in early 2003.

“This crisis does not frighten us. I will not cut a cent from social spending or investment in infrastructure,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference were Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, and Lula’s chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, widely touted as a possible future president.