Kyrgyz MP: Grow opium to beat debt

Opposition politician says poppy cultivation could be used to negotiate debt relief.

    Beknazarov said Afghanistan was an example of how opium could be used to win concessions [GETTY]

    "To solve this problem [of foreign debt] we need unordinary steps. I know that my suggestion will stir a heated debate," he said.
     
    Foreign public debt in Kyrgyzstan equals about $2 billion, or 72 per cent of GDP, according to recent figures from the International Monetary Fund.
     
    Beknazarov pointed out that Kyrgyzstan had had a tradition of opium production, including in Soviet times.
     
    Production of the raw product reached 16 per cent of the world total during the 1950s before, authorities put a stop to it in 1973.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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