New polling: Voters across Europe call for Argentina's ejection from the G20 and demand governments withhold taxpayer-backed loans to the Kirchner regime
- The World Bank will decide next month whether to re-establish taxpayer-underwritten loans to Argentina after international coalition led by United Kingdom and United States saw them suspended in 2012, marking victory for the TaxPayers' Alliance's Stop Funding Argentina campaign
- The Bank, financed in part by British taxpayers, has endorsed $3 billion in new loans but UK Government pressure during this weekend's G20 meeting and at World Bank meeting in December can ensure decision is to continue suspension
- Now new TaxPayers' Alliance polling shows taxpayers across Europe agree with UK stance and would not wish to see new funding given to Argentina
- Europe-wide taxpayers believe Argentina should settle its debts and improve behaviour or be booted out of the G20
- The vast majority (69 per cent) of those surveyed believe Argentina should be removed from the G20, which meets this weekend, until Argentina settles its debts and improves its behaviour
- Almost 9 in 10 (87 per cent) believe G20 must create specific "membership rules" requiring countries to manage their finances responsibly, pay debts they owe, and uphold the rule of international law - all of which Argentina has failed to do
- 81 per cent of European taxpayers support UK's decision to withhold funding from Argentina, and 79 per cent would support their own countries taking similar action
- 85 per cent of taxpayers across Europe do not want their money invested in Argentina following that country's default this summer, its second in thirteen years, and failure to repay its debts
- Across Europe, more than half (52 per cent) have a negative view of Argentina's behaviour, leadership and economy.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who claimed that "three-year old children" could see the Falkland Islands belonged to Argentina and refuses to accept results of near-unanimous declaration of British allegiance from Islanders, has a net approval rating of -21 in Europe, and -43 among those who have closely followed recent events in Argentina
Respondents view Argentina's handling of the current debt crisis as inappropriate and believe that the UK Government's policy of withholding loans to Argentina is justified and correct. Voters outside of the UK support their governments taking similar action in the UK and also withholding support for future taxpayer-backed loans to Argentina.
In 2012/3, at the urging of the United Kingdom, the United States and others, the World Bank effectively froze lending to Argentina due to its refusal to pay creditors and tendency to default on its debts, and its aggressive foreign policy. Despite President Kirchner's continued refusal to meet international obligations on debt repayment, IMF rules and economic statistics, as well as the deliberately provocative $1.6 billion purchase of 24 advanced Saab Gripen Fighter-Bomber aircraft, the World Bank board has endorsed a new "country strategy" for Argentina which will see some $3 billion of loans directed towards the country. The World Bank, however, works on a consensus basis and as such a strong position taken by the UK Government can strongly influence the final decision when it is made in December.
Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"At a time when David Cameron is desperate to make friends on the Continent, leading a campaign to ensure Argentina doesn't receive a penny of European taxpayers' cash would be a great way to start.
"Argentina's hostility is not just directed towards Britain. The Argentine Government has taken an antagonistic position in just about every international forum there is, and it is clear that voters across Europe have taken notice. These polling results show that our campaign to Stop Funding Argentina isn't just backed by Brits, but by the vast majority of Europeans too."
The TaxPayers' Alliance led the Stop Funding Argentina campaign in 2012, which was supported by thousands of people, forcing the Government to join the United States in refusing to underwrite loans to President Kirchner's regime. You can find details of the campaign here.
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