Tags: gbagbo ivory coast money

Cut Off, Ivory Coast Chief Is Pressing for Cash

Tuesday, 18 Jan 2011 03:44 PM


The global squeeze on the finances of Laurent Gbagbo, the strongman who refuses to cede power after losing a presidential election here, has included sanctions, asset freezes and financial interdictions, all in the hope of dislodging him without military force, The New York Times reports.

But Mr. Gbagbo, a political survivor accustomed to staying in office well beyond his legal term, has a financial plan of his own: pushing the banks and companies around him to continue supplying him with cash, diplomats and local businessmen say.

Mr. Gbagbo increasingly appears to be on the lookout for money to pay two constituencies — the military and civil servants — vital to his hold on power.

So last week, his officials met representatives from the country’s cocoa industry to press them to pay advances on export taxes, according to a cocoa businessman here. Ivory Coast is the world’s leading producer, and the crop is worth about $1.6 billion to the government.

Read the entire story at >nytimes.com






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