INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cullen Unaffected By Massive Protests In Prague

Published: Wed 27 Sep 2000 11:17 AM
Finance Minister Michael Cullen’s attendance at meetings of the International Monetary Fund at the World Bank in Prague yesterday was largely unaffected by the thousands of protesters, Mr Cullen’s press secretary, Kim Mackenzie said this morning, at 12:30am Prague time.
Ms Mackenzie said she did not think the delegates at the meeting were aware of the extent of the protests or the nature of the protests from the congress centre, where they were meeting. The meetings proceeded as normal, she said.
Ms Mckenzie understood the delegates returned to their hotels on buses arranged by the IMF. She said there was some delay caused by the protests.
Protesters were blocking the only thoroughfare to the congress centre.
Protests turned violent yesterday, with arrests and injuries as a reported crowd of around 10,000 anti-capitalist protesters rallied against the IMF and the World Bank.
Mr Cullen is due to speak at the meeting at 7:45pm New Zealand time, 9:45am in Prague.
Ms Mckenzie said we would have to wait and see if the protests disrupt Mr Cullen’s schedule.

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