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[casi] Iraqi Olympic village and hardline on debt

I've just learned a bit more about the Olympic plans mentioned in the
article below (thanks, Peter, for noticing that).  These plans will be paid
for out of 'oil for food' revenues:

"On 3 January 2002, the Secretary-General advised the President of the
Security Council of his approval of the distribution plan for phase XI,
submitted by the Government of Iraq on 23 December 2001"
(  One of the sections of this
distribution plan is entitled Special Allocation Requirements.  The contents
of its fifth component, "Board of Youth and Sports", are listed at  The last item is, "Project of
construction of olympic sports city".  To make the absurdity complete, the
previous entry is "Sewing Machines" (admittedly, 200 of them).

It's felt that Uday Hussein, Saddam's eldest son, is behind this project; he
chairs Iraq's Olympic Committee.

I cannot understand how the Iraqi government thinks that it can do things
like this, especially at a time when the US appears increasingly interested
in finding anything that can be used as a rationale for toppling the Iraqi

Another disgusting story (reproduced below; thank you, again, Peter) is that
of the Iraqi government's continued pursuit of the less than ten million
dollars owed it by Uganda, one of the world's poorest countries.  This, no
doubt, will greatly strengthen Iraq's case when it comes to re-negotiating
the tens of billions of dollars in debt that Iraq possesses.

Colin Rowat

work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham |
Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 |
(+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) |

personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) |
(707) 221 3672 (US fax) |

Hoover's (Financial Times), 17th February
Source: The Sunday Mirror, February 17, 2002

SADDAM Hussein is building a 100,000-seater super stadium complex in a bid
to host the 2012 Olympics in Baghdad.

News of the scheme comes as the US is believed to be planning to topple the
Iraqi dictator.

Saddam wants the stadium to meet standards set by the IAAF athletics
federation and football's governing body FIFA.

Saddam, who has insisted that a screened-off VIP area must be built to seat
his entourage, also wants the stadium to "reflect Iraqi architecture in
stages of history".

The contract will attract bids from construction companies all over the
world, although British firms may be deterred by the fact that Iraq is still
subject to sanctions.

But some UK firms may still bid. The British Contractors and Consultants
Bureau said: "We have had a couple of tentative inquiries."

by Jude Etyang
New Vision (Kampala), 6th February

THE Government has admitted owing the Iraqi government US$5.8m and not
US$10m as claimed in the commercial court suit filed by the latter.

The Attorney General (AG) represented by The Commissioner of Civil
Litigation, Cheborion Barishaki, admitted facts in the suit yesterday,
before Justice Okumu Wengi.

The Iraqi government represented by Charles Odere sued the Uganda Government
seeking the repayment of a $10m loan that it said was inherited from the
1970's Idi Amin regime.

Iraq filed the suit last year after Uganda wrote a letter demanding for the
debt to be cancelled under the World bank Highly Indebted Poor Countries

Barishaki reiterated the Government's stand that only US$4,566,110 was

He said of the amount received, US$1,960,278 had been paid back to Iraq and
therefore the principal outstanding amount plus interest as by June 30, 2000
is US$5,847,507.

The Iraqi government claims that on May 9, 1979 the two governments signed
an agreement under which Uganda benefited from a US$10m loan aimed at
financing industrial projects.

It is also alleged that another loan agreement for US$4.8m was executed
between the two governments on June 3, 1981, and it's payment was scheduled
to commence on January 15, 1982.

However, the AG in defence said the outstanding amount Uganda owes Iraq is
$5.8m not $10m.

He said although the agreements were executed, the disbursements were not
effected as scheduled.

The AG said no disbursement was ever made on the second loan "and therefore
no liability from it is admitted."

Saddam Hussein is the president of Iraq.

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