|Many thanks to Louis. I sent the following letter to the NYT:
To the Editor:
In your report on the Cologne G8 meeting, you refer in general terms to
the "democratic and economic reforms" Balkan governments must agree to
in order to receive economic assistance from the US and the European
Union. This aid is desperately needed to repair the damage caused by
years of conflict in the region and months of NATO bombing.
The full condition for this aid, however, went unmentioned. At this
meeting the G8 reaffirmed the June 10 G7 stipulation that Balkan
governments adopt "market economies based on sound macro policies,
markets open to greatly expanded foreign trade and private sector
investment, effective and transparent customs and commercial/regulatory
regimes, developing strong capital markets and diversified ownership,
including privatisation..." This doctrinaire formula would be
presumptuous anywhere, but it is especially so in a region whose last 40
years of economic development has been based on market socialism and an
element of worker management.
Apparently we have strayed so far from the view that a nation's economic
institutions should be democratically chosen by its people that it is no
longer news when this principle is overruled.