Brazil's Lula questions role of IMF in global financial crisis

Brazil's Lula questions role of IMF in global financial crisis Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday criticised both the International Monetary Fund and the United States for their role in the ongoing global financial turmoil.

"Where is the IMF now?" Lula asked, before 3,000 metal workers at the seaside resort of Angra dos Reis.

Whenever there was financial turbulence in Brazil or Argentina, the IMF "always drew up recommendations and dictated what should or should not be done," he said.

He also accused the US of playing "with the economy ... they played with finance policy."

Lula said, "Everybody knows that what is happening is due to financial speculation that started in the United States. They played with the world economy."

He blamed the leaders of industrialized countries for not acting to prevent the crisis that was triggered by the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market. Lula said he tried to bring up the issue at the latest G8 summit, but his suggestion was ignored.

"They (acted) as if there was no crisis. They only wanted to talk about the environment, not the (financial) crisis," he said.

While describing the financial meltdown as "very deep, perhaps the most serious of the last 50 years," he stressed that Brazil had protected itself well.

"I am not saying we will have no trouble, but we are firm so far," Lula said. "As in the story of the cicada and the ant, while they sang, we worked." (dpa)

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