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Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Sat May 19 15:38:16 PDT 2001

Saturday May 19 1:45 PM ET World Bank, Fearing Violence, Scraps Spain Meeting

MADRID (Reuters) - The World Bank on Saturday said it had canceled a conference on how to fight poverty due to take place in Spain next month because of concerns anti-globalization groups would try to disrupt theevent.

``Despite our efforts to approach some of the groups that plan to demonstrate and include them in the conference, the intention of many of these groups...is to interrupt it,'' the World Bank said in a statement.

``A conference on reducing poverty should take place in an atmosphere of peace, without provocation, violence or intimidation,'' the statement said.

The World Bank had planned to hold the conference on development between June 25 and 27 in Barcelona.

Spain's Economy Ministry said the meeting would now take place via the Internet.

Previous meetings by international organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have been marred by violent clashes between police and anti-capitalism protesters.

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