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Another reason for opposing all government aid to other governments

Here is a pretty good article in the Telegraph, by Nancy Soderberg (who she?), arguing that taxpayers of the UK should not be giving money to Argentina. It is a country that, with hardly a shred of legal or other justification, wishes to claim back territories (the Falkland Islands) that it unsuccessfully attempted to capture 30 years ago by force of arms:

“Argentina, after all, is acting with scant regard for the international community. Over the past decade it has pursued a deliberate strategy of playing games with financial markets. Its default on £51 billion of debt in 2001 turned it into a financial pariah, a status that was not enhanced by two subsequent unilateral debt restructurings. To this day, Argentina remains shut out of the world’s capital markets. To make matters worse, it also nationalised private pension funds, thereby providing itself with a captive domestic market into which it could sell its debt.”

“The government has since been sued by creditors around the world as they try to force Argentina to honour its obligations. In the Southern District Court of New York alone, there have been more than 170 bondholder lawsuits, resulting in more than 100 judgments. Today, Argentina still owes more than £15 billion in old debts ranging from Paris Club loans, to bondholders, and to foreign investors holding arbitral awards from the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). In each case, Argentina has refused to play by the rules. It has demanded a Paris Club restructuring without the mandatory IMF monitoring, it has ignored New York court judgments, and it has insisted, in blatant disregard of its treaty obligations under ICSID, that arbitral awards be brought to Argentina for “approval” by its own courts.”

Argentina is refusing to let UK-registered vessels enter any of its ports, and has also sought to enlist other Latin American countries in putting the squeeze on the UK. Now of course some of this can be dismissed as “sabre-rattling”, and no doubt, in their quieter moments, many Argentine people who have endured a variety of useless or vicious governments will think that the latest antics of their government are absurd. But it is clear that bullies need to be confronted eventually. The UK government should terminate any aid to Argentina without delay. Indeed, it should terminate aid, full stop, to any country, democratic or otherwise.

One of the things that stuck in my mind when reading the late Christopher Hitchens’ brilliant “Hitch 22″ memoirs was his description of how he felt about the Thatcher administration in confronting the military junta of Argentina in 1982. I think it was Hitchens’ first realisation that his youthful leftism meant he had to take sides with some pretty stupid people, and that he began a long, slow reappraisal of some of his ideas. As the Falklanders no doubt asked themselves in 1982, do we really want to be taken over by this lot?

Of course, it is all about ooooiiilllll!

For a bit of background, here is a reasonably fair account of the history of the Falkland Islands, which have been attached to the UK since the 1830s, an era when Argentina had only begun to exist as an independent nation in its own right.

4 comments to Another reason for opposing all government aid to other governments

  • Laird

    It’s pretty extraordinary that Britain (or any other sane nation, but especially Britain) is still subsidizing Argentina. Douglas Casey defined foreign aid as “a transfer from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.” Sounds about right. The idiocy of bureaucrats never ceases to amaze.

  • Mendicant

    The obvious purpose of Foreign Aid is bribery, to “encourage” investment by foreign governments in British companies.

    Jesus Christ, what is Nancy Soderberg whittering on about?

    Its default on £51 billion of debt in 2001 turned it into a financial pariah, a status that was not enhanced by two subsequent unilateral debt restructurings.

    Argentina was right to default. Financial Pariah? Argentina’s economy is growing. “Unilateral”, oh, how naughty, a sovereign state making its own decisions! Default works. Besides, governments are supposed to protect their people, not foreign bankers.

    It has demanded a Paris Club restructuring without the mandatory IMF monitoring,

    Given that the IMF clowns plunged 50% of their population into poverty, the Argentines would be mad to want the IMF anywhere near their country. That would be like Anne Frank inviting Hitler to tea.

    Argentina has refused to play by the rules

    No country plays by the rules, oh Nancy thou art naive.

    and it has insisted, in blatant disregard of its treaty obligations under ICSID, that arbitral awards be brought to Argentina for “approval” by its own courts.”

    Nancy, its called “sovereignty” and “protecting your own national interests”, look it up. Poor Nancy seems to think democracy should be abolished in favour of “international bodies” like the IMF, EU, etc, headed by panjandrums like Christine Self-Regarde.

    As for the right-wing Junta, Kirchner (to her credit) has locked them all up. Videla, Galtieri and co completed their journey from being Kissinger’s trained bitch boys to being prison bitches (though at least with the latter there is some dignity).

    I don’t like alot of things about the Kirchner regime, but, her locking up of the Junta and her rejection of the wretched and worthless IMF are two things that count in her favour, (if all leaders told the IMF to go away and die we would all be better off) and the fact she doesn’t buy into Nancy Soderberg’s globalist crap is another bonus.

    The Falklands aren’t worth getting into a tizz over. Honestly its all too boring for anyone to get into trade disputes about.

    BTW The Falklanders should be thankful they are not Chagossians.

  • Argentina’s governments are always utterly incompetent. (That is the good ones. The bad ones are other, far worse things at well). Every now and then the shit hits the fan, and Argentina goes on a sabre rattling spree, amongst other things. We are at that stage in the cycle, unfortunately. However, Argentina is not going to actually do any more than that over the Falklands this time. (Also, although most Argentines do think that they should control the Falklands, taking them by force is an action of unspeakable, disgusting right wing juntas. That makes subsequent governments reluctant to follow).

  • Paul Marks

    British government (read “taxpayers”) aid to India is about teaching Indians to access government services.

    No I am not making that up – the British government is spending money teaching Indians to demand X, Y, Z, from the Indian government (a death dance of statism).

    But the aid to Argentinia is beyond all comprehention and (even) satire.

    We do not seem to have an elected government in the United Kingdom – we have group of politicians who slavishly follow Civil Service (and other establishment) advice – partly because they are hollow men, but also because it matches the demented rubbish they (the politicians) were taught when they were at university,

    Methinks that Peter Bauer works (such as “Dissent On Devlopment”) were not on their “reading lists”, and citeing such works (in a positive way) would not have been good for getting a “First”.