French President supports Grameen's Yunus



French President supports Grameen`s Yunus Dhaka: French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said his government will closely monitor the developments regarding Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus' removal from Grameen Bank and will take up the issue with the Bangladesh authorities in the next few days.

In a letter to Yunus, he also expressed his strong support for the founder of Grameen Bank, the Daily Star reported Wednesday.

"Friends of Grameen", a voluntary organisation established to promote microcredit activities of Grameen Bank and its affiliates, circulated the contents of the letter that were published in the French press.

"Please allow me to reiterate, once again, how much your model of a 'social business' bank, which has enabled poor people in your country to widely access credit, is admired and respected in France," wrote Sarkozy.

"This has actually done a lot for the prestige and reputation of Bangladesh across the globe: the world needs innovative projects to fight poverty and inequalities, and the creation of the Grameen Bank was an audacious initiative, which has been an ongoing source of inspiration for the international community," he said.

"I know the difficulties you are going through at the present moment. I trust the institutions of your country will find a fair resolution to these. The French government will closely monitor the situation and will definitely address the issue with Bangladeshi authorities over the next few days."

Yunus, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the bank he founded in 1976, lost his appeal against his removal from the bank before the Supreme Court Tuesday.

The US government has also publicly taken up Yunus' cause and has sought a compromise between him and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

The government removed Yunus, through a letter issued March 2 by the central bank, saying it was following the rules governing the country's banking sector and that Yunus, now 70, was over-aged.

IANS