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Pavarotti to call for debt relief

ROME (CWNews.com) - Famed opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti will call for industrialized nations to write off $300 billion in Third World debt during his appearance at Italy's largest music festival, according to the debt relief group Jubilee 2000.

"Pavarotti has been quite clear -- he's doing the San Remo festival to support Jubilee 2000," spokesman Jamie Drummond said today. The festival begins today. Other musical stars have said they will also use their appearance to call for debt relief, but Irish rock musician Bono said he will only appear at San Remo if Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema made a pledge to increase Italy's debt relief.

Drummond said Italy's pledges to date, in the form of a bill expected to go before parliament soon, would only write off some three trillion lire ($1.53 billion) in debts from the poorest countries.

The debt relief movement stems from Pope John Paul II's 1997 call for a Jubilee Year to be called in 2000, including the forgiveness of debts, including debts owed by the poorest nations to the wealthiest.

Last year, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said he would propose to the G7 group of seven-most industrialized nations that they speed up debt relief and wipe out $50 billion of debt. The G7 agreed last June to cancel about $70 billion in loans to help 36 nations emerge from debt. Last September, US President Bill Clinton pledged to cancel all debts.

© 2000 CWNews.com

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