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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.


This chapter was prepared by Kamil Dybczak, Carlos Mulas Granados, and Ezgi Ozturk with inputs from Vizhdan Boranova, Karim Foda, Keiko Honjo, Raju Huidrom, Nemanja Jovanovic and Svitlana Maslova, under the supervision of Jörg Decressin and the guidance of Gabriel Di Bella. Jaewoo Lee and Petia Topalova provided useful advice and comments. Nomelie Veluz provided administrative support. This chapter reflects data and developments as of September 28, 2020.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.


Christian Ebeke (co-lead), Nemanja Jovanovic, Svitlana Maslova, Francisco Parodi, Laura Valderrama (co-lead), Svetlana Vtyurina, and Jing Zhou prepared this chapter under the supervision of Mahmood Pradhan and the guidance of Laura Papi and Petia Topalova. Jörg Decressin provided useful advice and comments. Jankeesh Sandhu provided outstanding research assistance, and Nomelie Veluz was expertly in charge of administrative support.

Vaclav Havel


Let me welcome all of you to the Czech Republic and to Prague. My welcome extends to the official participants in the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, to all business people, bankers, economists, political scientists, environmentalists, thinkers, journalists, and, indeed, to all people of good will who have come here because this is an occasion to discuss and possibly also to help determine our common future. This country and its capital city are greatly honored to be the venue of this major assembly, which brings together thousands of people from all countries and continents—including persons wielding a far-reaching influence—in the very year that the commonly used chronology views as a turn of ages. For us it means an honor, a joy, as well as a great challenge, and a major commitment. I trust that Prague—hosting such a gathering of a truly global significance for the first time in more than a thousand years of its history—will offer a good environment for the deliberations and will be reflected favorably both in the memory of its participants and in the history of global cooperation. Surely this city possesses certain historical prerequisites. Over the course of centuries—among other things because of its geographical position in the center of Europe—it has witnessed not only confrontations and conflicts but also creative encounters, mutual respect, reciprocal influence, and cooperation among various cultures; various peoples and ethnic groups; and various spiritual currents and social movements. This pluralism has helped to shape its visage. It would be good if, after decades of oppression, of life without freedom, of bent backs, and of imposed isolation, we succeeded in rediscovering this ancient tradition and offered this city as a congenial setting for the world’s open debate about itself.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

“The Challenges Facing the IMF,” Agustin Carstens, IMF Deputy Managing Director, Canberra, Australia, July 27

International Monetary Fund


Meetings of the Joint Development Committee were held jointly with the Board of Governors of the Bank. The sessions of the Annual Meetings were held jointly with the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group.

Miss Gita Bhatt

ASpecial Session of the United Nations General Assembly met in Geneva on June 26–30 to assess the progress that had been made in the five years since the March 1995 Copenhagen Summit adopted a Declaration on Social Development and Program of Action. In the Copenhagen declaration the heads of state or government of 117 countries had committed themselves to fighting poverty, unemployment, and social disintegration. In the intervening five years, there has been heightened concern over the economic and social consequences of international financial crises, growing insecurity over globalization, and, in some regions, a deepening of poverty and unemployment.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Robert Gillingham, Marijn Verhoeven, and Mr. Erwin H Tiongson

A recent review of data on government spending on education and health care reveals that such spending has continued to grow in countries with IMF-supported programs (see IMF Survey, March 8, 1999, page 79; February 23, 1998, page 52; and July 21, 1997, page 217). Indicators of education attainment and health status have also continued to improve. But underlying the increase in average spending are significant differences among countries and an uneven distribution of the benefits. The review, which covers 66 countries with IMF-supported programs during 1985-98, is part of an ongoing effort by the IMF to compile and analyze data on government spending in the education and health care sectors.