Questioning the Policies of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

As pointed out in the Economy page article "Reinventing the Bank That Is Remaking Europe," April 27, there is debate regarding the extent to which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should allocate financial resources between private- and public-sector investments.

That debate distracts us from a flawed element of the bank's character: EBRD cannot make loans for agricultural projects.

This policy is a result of pressure from the European Community's agricultural sectors, which do not want the EBRD to promote competition for them through its lending policies. Such a policy is myopic. Besides protecting Western European farmers, it perpetuates the same industrial emphasis that the Soviet Union foisted on its satellites, devastating both their economies and the environment. It is time that EBRD policy be exposed and questioned. James M. Wolf, Fair Oaks, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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