Bono, Geldof & co take G8 summit to task June 21, 1999

U2's Bono and The Edge, Radiohead's Thom Yorke, ex-Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, Youssou N'Dour, and Bob Geldof travelled to Cologne, Germany over the weekend to deliver a petition to the G8 summit of world leaders, requesting that the £125 billion 'third world debt' be wiped off the slate. Representing Jubilee 2000, the sextet handed the petition, signed by almost 20 million sympathisers from all over the world, to the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, joined by a crowd of 30,000, who joined hands in a 4 mile human chain through the city on Saturday.

News that the summit had agreed a plan, 'The Cologne Debt Initiative', to wipe off around £43 billion of the debt has not deterred Bono and Co's determination to see the matter through; "I'm not happy with the decision. It's a half measure, typical of politicians. I would ask them to go with their consciences and do more," said Geldof. "They have done a cosmetic propaganda job and my job is to upset that spin. They are not addressing the central issues and we need to make the pressure more direct," added Thom Yorke - "it's just a stunt." Bono, who launched the campaign at this year's 'Brit Awards' in February said - "It's obscene to think that in a country like Nigeria they have a life expectancy of 47 years, and they spend more on servicing their debt than they do on health and education."

G8's claim that the relief figure of 43 billion will halve the debt of Third World nations to the super-powers, has been disputed by Jubilee, who claim that the relief level is closer to a third. Jubilee 2000 are also planning a major concert event in Africa, set to take place on New Year's Eve.