Letter: Poverty's causes

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Sir: Clare Short is quoted as saying that "poverty is not all the fault of evil Western bankers"("Short chides church on debt relief", 19 November). Yet the West is to blame as well.

A former president of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, said that Western bankers urged his country to borrow money at one interest rate and then increased the rate, sometimes doubling it.

In the 1960s many politicians and civil servants came to Britain where they learned from the fashionable economists of the time that "parastatals" were the answer for their country. "Parastatals" are government bodies participating in commerce, usually as monopolies for essential imports. These were a licence to print money for their executives.

While the blame for poverty rests with the countries involved, Britain cannot avoid our share of the blame.