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Clean up corruption, PM warns

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Clean up corruption, PM warns
Blunt message sent to African leaders

Says investors need political stability

ABUJA, Nigeria—Prime Minister Jean Chrétien had a blunt message yesterday for African business leaders seeking foreign investment and debt relief: Clean up your act and manage your resources better.

Chrétien's impromptu tough-love act came during a question-and-answer session following a speech to a Commonwealth business forum.

It provided a welcome, and well received, contrast to the diplomatic niceties being served up on the eve of today's Commonwealth heads of government meeting.

Chrétien met the Queen for just over half an hour yesterday and has arranged several other bilateral meetings with leaders.

"It was a very good meeting, as usual," Chrétien said of the private audience with the monarch. "She was very gracious. I've known her since 1967."

Earlier, Chrétien told the business forum it was an emotional time for him because of his imminent retirement from politics and his long advocacy of African development issues.

But it was after the speech that the relaxed Prime Minister really let loose.

Asked whether Canada will lead the push for debt relief for Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and also ranked as the continent's most corrupt, Chrétien replied that debt forgiveness is only for the poorest of the poor.

"Everybody would like to be there, not to have to pay back debt," Chrétien told a couple of hundred business leaders in a hotel ballroom.

"But in the case of Nigeria, because of the enormous resource you have here, it's a question of internal management very often that is the problem," he said to applause. "You need the political will in order to redress a country and sometimes leaders have to make very tough decisions. And it is the responsibility of the citizens to back them up."

He said that's why Canada was successful in turning around deficits during the 1990s — political will backed by popular support.

"Virtue eventually pays. Perhaps it's less fun, but it pays."

Chrétien was similarly forthright when asked where the foreign investment was that was supposed to flow after the 2002 meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries in Kananaskis, Alta.

He replied that investors require stability and reassurance.

"Two things: you have to have access to markets to sell your products. But you need good administration for the people to invest to develop business. You need political stability. Stop this bloody conflict that you have too often in some parts of Africa. You know, this is the reality, and the capital will come, I'm sure. But help yourself to succeed."

Mozambican President Joachim Chissano, who shared the podium with Chrétien, said: "He's right. He's correct. This is the decision of the African countries to fight against all that is bad and create a better environment for investment."

Commonwealth leaders yesterday headed toward a split over Zimbabwe with Chrétien and Britain's Tony Blair insisting they stand firm on the country's suspension over President Robert Mugabe's 2002 re-election.

But African leaders showed signs of going the opposite direction when the summit opens today.


Everyone knows I really like ole Jean. I think his blunt and brazen directness is a very necessary asset and I think its time for him to move onto the UN African plan. Many leaders have been affraid to speak so bluntly and to also back up what they say.

If anyone can find an actual transcript of what was said please post it!
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
We've come, to bid our chum,
Who made things hum, a bon voyage now.
He's cute, smart to boot,
And we salute, our grand fromage now.

Our chief, found us in grief,
With no relief, when first elected.
With him as guide, our national pride,
Was resurrected.

Yes our man, Jean Chrétien,
Had quite a span, of years of top man.
And we know, Pierre Trudeau,
Told you to go, and never stop, man.

Yes you toiled, you remained unspoiled,
Now you're well?oiled, like a machine is.
And who's stronger than, that mighty man?
His wife Aline is.

At 29, you drank champagne,
The night you won, your first campaign.
Your winning ways, you would repeat,
You were the kid, they couldn't beat.
In 10 more tries, you whipped their guys,
You did it your way.

Yes, rich folks, and working blokes,
You charm and coax, you were the head one.
The gays, all sing your praise,
For days and days, though you wouldn't wed one.

And you guys, you look for highs,
You're not that wise, thank you a lot now.
It's still a crime, but they don't do time,
For smoking pot now.

A generous heart, a mighty fist,
Once you depart, you'll be missed.
For all the years, you served this land,
Accept our cheers, now would everybody please stand.
And say as one, for all you've done,
We thank you our way.

Mike Richards

TRIBE Member
Yah know what.....I'm starting to like Cretien's 'No Fuckin around' attitude. Figures shit like that always happens when it's too late!!