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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 11:28, May 25, 2007
Ecuador's economy minister denies corruption in foreign debt payments
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Ecuador's Economy Minister Ricardo Patino said on Thursday that he rejected Abadi & Co.'s "indecent" proposal intending to accuse him of corruption with respect to the foreign debt payment service.

"It is absolutely clear we do not follow their advice and much less to benefit them," he said, adding that the video on the meeting between former finance minister Armando Rodas and two Abadi & Co. representatives will be shown in a 2,000-seat auditorium Thursday afternoon.

Patino was accused of embezzling 135 million U.S. dollars of Ecuador's 2030 global bonds after a videotape of a meeting with international financiers was made public and caused a national scandal.

Patino said he would not resign from his post despite right-wing political leaders demanding Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa remove him.

The economy minister said his intention at the meeting, videotaped without the other participants' consent, was to uncover the corruption mechanisms.

Patino, who returned from Paraguay Wednesday, said that he allowed

videotaping of the meeting with the sole intention of obtaining evidence of the alleged market manipulation.

Ecuador's attorney general began an investigation into Patino after receiving a copy of a video where Patino, his predecessor Armando Rodas Espinel, his advisor Eguez and two Abadi and Company officials discussed a possible debt moratorium on the bonds.

Patino said there is no relation between the videotaping and the declarations made in February with respect to the interest payments of global bonds.

"I am going to deny all the old wives' tales invented" while I was absent and assure nobody obtained benefits from the government's statements with respect to the 2030 global bond interest payments, he said.

Source: Xinhua

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