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Controversial plans to privatise all of Iraq's non-oil assets have been attacked by Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. The former World Bank chief economist has warned that laws signed off by US and British occupation forces 'risk social stability and Russia-style asset stripping'. The laws, approved by the Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer, allow 100 per cent foreign ownership of all state assets apart from natural resources. Trade tariffs and taxes have also been slashed, and the Central Bank of Iraq has been made operationally independent. 'This is an extreme version of Republican ideology,' said Stiglitz. 'Of course it is nothing we would do at home [US], because we're actually quite protectionist.' The reforms have attracted considerable criticism from business groups and unions in Iraq, who are concerned that local businesses will be unable to compete.

Iraq 'asset-stripping' warning Faisal Islam Sunday October 12, 2003 The Observer
 
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This is Keith Richardson's alternative news site. The site aims to promote Truth, Justice, a green clean healthy environment and a wildlife friendly world. It is currently focused on Foreign News and particularly the Middle East.