European Finance Ministers endorse a new Greece debt agreement that provides financing in exchange for maintaining austerity policies and economic reforms.
“Parts of the Greece deal provide more breathing space for Greece in the short-term, but we are still concerned that there isn't enough debt relief to keep Greece out of trouble for the long-term," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, who monitors and works on international debt agreements. "I'm also worried that the continued austerity policies hurt too many Greeks and will negatively impact economic growth."
While the International Monetary Fund's Christine LaGarde supports the deal, she raised concerns about the deal's ability to achieve sustainability for the Greek economy.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in Devex speaking on the Financing for Development meetings at the United Nations last week in New York. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
UN financing forum sees focus on debt relief for vulnerable Caribbean nations
So far, there is no specific debt relief action plan for the Caribbean region, but it’s something to watch for at upcoming global summits, including the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in the fall, said Eric LeCompte, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Jubilee USA Network.
“We see a consensus emerging about the need for a debt relief process for Caribbean islands to protect them from hurricanes and other natural disasters,” LeCompte said. “What people are really talking about now, is how do we have a permanent process in place that looks to structure and relieve debt after a crisis occurs?”
“There is momentum with the hurricane season, trying to get anything in place,” LeCompte explained. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I have never seen a moment where global decision makers are taking the situation as seriously as they are now. The seriousness is incredibly significant. If Jamaica gets hit by a Category Five, what does that do to the entire region?”
Read more here.
Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently featured in America, the Jesuit Review speaking on Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
Puerto Rico to receive $11 billion in disaster aid. Advocates warn it won't be enough.
By: J.D. Long-García
Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network has serious doubts. “Half a million people in Puerto Rico are still without power,” he said.
“There’s a lot of hopelessness across the island,” Mr. LeCompte said, adding that hundreds of thousands have left Puerto Rico since the hurricane. According to Mr. LeCompte, there has been a surge in suicide rates. While Mr. LeCompte applauded the approval of disaster relief, he added that “the work of Congress is not over yet.”
Even before the hurricane, half of the children in Puerto Rico lived in poverty, according to Mr. LeCompte.
“The suffering was already great on the island with hundreds of schools closed,” he said. “Austerity was impacting health care and social services. Because of the debt crisis, Puerto Rico was ill-prepared to deal with hurricanes.”
Mr. LeCompte noted that many Americans still do not realize Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. Still, he expects the financial oversight board of Puerto Rico to recommend a five-year suspension of debt payments in the coming weeks.
“There is also a ‘super bankruptcy’ process taking place that Congress passed as a part of legislation,” Mr. LeCompte said. “That bankruptcy process will need to cut about 80 to 90 percent of the debt if Puerto Rico wants to see future economic growth.”
The island’s government estimates Puerto Rico needs $90 billion in aid in the aftermath of the hurricanes, Mr. LeCompte said. The U.S. Virgin Islands have requested more than $7.5 billion.
“We will need more disaster aid bills from Congress in the coming months,” he said. The current budget proposal also falls short of requests from California, Texas and Florida, according to Mr. LeCompte.
Read more here.
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Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in Value Walk about the need for debt relief for Greece. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.
As Yields Tank, HSBC Warns Greece Needs More Debt Relief
By: Mark Melin
"The question of Greece pilling up debt and derivatives to an extent that cannot be logically be supported by their economy has been the hot topic that mostly remains unaddressed. Are those who structured the debt at all responsible if it created economic catastrophe?
This notion was put forth by those who advocated debt relief for Greece, including Eric LeCompte, a UN debt relief consultant and executive director at Jubilee USA Network.
'Greece isn’t out of the woods yet,' he told ValueWalk Thursday. 'If we really want Greece to get out of its challenges, this requires debt relief.'
Debt relief has been the third rail of the Greek negotiations. While some advocated flat out debt forgiveness, as was done in 1953 through the London Agreement that forgave Germany a significant amount of its war debt, LeCompte points to more structural relief.
With 80% debt held by the Eurozone, he points to extending maturity and reducing real payments and creating triggers in a payment system that is relative to the ability of the sovereign nation to pay. 'A successful Greece means a successful EU,' he said, noting that doesn’t mean a debt write off is required as such, but rather accommodation."
Read more here.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 75 US organizations, 700 faith communities and 50 Jubilee global partners. Jubilee is building an economy that serves, protects and promotes participation of the most vulnerable. Jubilee has won critical global financial reforms and more than $130 billion in debt relief for the world's poorest people.
Our efforts build the political support needed to influence world-wide decision makers, the White House, Congress, the G20, International Financial Institutions and the United Nations to promote poverty reduction and move solutions to the international debt crisis. Ultimately, we work to create an international financial system that protects and ensures participation of the most vulnerable within the context of human rights. Our advocacy promotes responsible lending and borrowing, increasing debt relief for poor countries, curbing illicit financial flows and corporate tax avoidance, moving forward an international debt resolution process, pushing reforms in international financial institutions and protecting poor people from predatory financial behavior.
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Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations. We are 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe.
We address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world. We focus on the following structural issues:
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Congressional Quarterly cites our work as one of the last bipartisan efforts left in Washington. We are Christians, Jews, Muslims and other faith traditions working to build an economy that serves, protects and promotes the participation of the most vulnerable.
Jubilee USA Network is a tax-exempt non-profit organization under section 501(c) 3 of the U.S. tax code. Your gift is deductible to the full extent of the law.