NAURU PARLIAMENT TO PROBE LOAN DEFAULT

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 29) – Nauru’s Parliament is to investigate a $230 million loan made to the financially troubled Pacific island nation by the General Electric Corporation.

Nauru has been defaulting on its repayments, which has resulted in the seizure of a number of Nauruan government assets in Australia.

A four-member committee, including members of parliament Kieren Keke, Marcus Stephen, Godfrey Thoma and Dogabe Jeremiah, is being set up to look at the background to the loan.

"An important objective of the committee will be to examine the impact and ramifications, both positive and negative, that the loan facility has had on theRepublic of Nauru," Ribauw said.

A Melbourne-based Nauru spokeswoman said the inquiry would not prevent the government from progressing with existing or alternative refinancing options for the payment of the GEC loan.

The committee is expected to present its findings to parliament by mid September.

June 30, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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