TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: If you throw a rock somewhere in the District of Columbia this weekend, there’s a decent chance you’re gonna hit a finance minister. Or an economist. Or somebody who has something to do with trying to fix the global fallout. And most certainly, a member of the media covering all of the big meetings there this weekend.
We’ll hear from two dozen of the biggest economies on planet Earth starting today. Then tomorrow, it’s Spring meeting time for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Among those attending the weekend functions: the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the OECD, Angel Gurria, who joins us right now. Thanks for being with us.
Angel Gurria: How do you do, Steve?
Chiotakis: Sir, what do you hope to achieve in this meeting this weekend?
Gurria: A number of decisions that were proposed at the G-20, now they have to be implemented. First and foremost, the re-capitalization of the IMF, new issues of the SDRs, of the Special Drawing Rights. That means giving the IMF the capacity to be able to put fires out and to get them out of these problems.
Chiotakis: Well what do you see some of the risks going ahead, and some of the dangers?
Gurria: Well first of all, that we don’t do enough of these efforts. Because people today are speaking, the inference have to be big enough, and then they’re saying oh yes, but there may be inflation down the line. Well there may be inflation down the line, yes, but I think we’ll have a lot of time to see it coming and to deal with it. Right now, the biggest danger I’d say is not doing enough today to get it out of the hole.
Chiotakis: How important do you think is the discussion this weekend of transparency, i.e. tax havens around the world?
Gurria: It is of extreme importance. We have made more progress there in the last couple of months than we had done in the last 10 years. I have to say that, not withstanding all the work of the OECD — and we have been doing this work for 13 years now — we really could not have done it without the political will, the clout that was provided by these large countries getting together — Germany and France and the U.K. and the United States — and saying, game over. The tolerance is gone, we are not going to allow any jurisdiction anywhere in the world to aid in the bad people who don’t want to pay their taxes in full. Not in this crisis, not particularly when we’re asking for these huge efforts from the people who are paying their taxes in full and are taking these, the brunt of the crisis and suffering. This is more progress in the last two months than in the last 10 years.
Chiotakis: All right, Mister Secretary General, thank you so much for joining us today, we appreciate it.
Gurria: Thank you very much for having me.
Chiotakis: Angel Gurria with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
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