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LETTERS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
June 1987
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Lesson in geography

The September issue of Finance & Development included a sequence of maps on the European Community. Allow me to point out that West Berlin, where nearly two million people live, is not shown as a part of the European Community. Yet it should be included as of 1967 at the latest, since West Berlin then came within the purview of the three treaties. It is also more than a minor flaw that the maps leave the Danish islands Zealand and Fyn with the capital, Copenhagen, outside the European Community’s gate!

Dr. Georg Massion

Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany

The September 1986 edition carries a cartographic display of the expansion of the European Communities since 1952 that unfortunately in no way indicates that, due to the relevant memoranda of association with the Federal Republic of Germany, West Berlin is also a part of the European Community. By contrast to similar omissions in other places, this oversight is of political importance in the case of Berlin. The Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Pact countries have always contested the fact that European Community membership extends to Berlin. Giving even a shred of legitimacy to those substantively unfounded claims should be avoided. The Federal Foreign Office would therefore appreciate it greatly if future publications appropriately include Berlin in maps of the European Community.

Federal Foreign Office

Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany

TheEditorresponds:

We regret that our stylized maps that attempted to illustrate the growth of the European Community did not show all territories covered by the Community. The small size of the maps and the nature of the illustration led us to this error of omission. This was in no way intended to belittle the economic importance of West Berlin, nor its being an integral part of the European Community. We wanted the illustrations to provide a visual image of the Community’s growth rather than a detailed, or official, representation of its membership.

Colombia: why adjustment worked

The article by Miguel Schloss and Vinod Thomas, on “Adjustment With Growth: Colombia’s Experience” (December 1986), begins with a report on economic performance in recent years. I wish to clarify that the balance of payments crisis which gripped Colombia in the first half of the 1980s was not due to the absence of medium-term growth measures. Rather, it was an historical reflex (which is quite normal for a developing country) to a boom period in which political interests used these resources arbitrarily to further their claims without adequate planning, thus spawning future disequilibria in the balance of payments.

Colombia does have several medium-term plans, but the lack of coordination among sectors and the partisan fashion of executing these plans distorts them and prevents their effective implementation. Some type of external supervision is thus required to guarantee that they are properly carried out. In this case the adjustment process benefited from the fitting advice of the IMF and the World Bank. Otherwise we might not have achieved the same results.

Unfortunately, this is the reality in many developing countries. It is thus very important that Finance & Development take up this topic again in order to increase awareness of how important it is that adjustment programs be carried out faithfully.

Rafael A. Marín Vásquez

Universidad de Medellín, Colombia

Photo credits: Photographs on pages 6,17,21, and 31 by R Townsend; pages 14,24,27, 35, 39, 42, and 49 by G. Franchini; and on page 10 by M. lannacci.

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