Switzerland and Germany agree to guarantees for controversial Ilisu Dam project

(NZZ Online, Zurich, 15 December 2006) The Swiss government has agreed to underwrite the export risks of firms taking part in a Turkish dam project, but only if international standards are fully met. The proposed Ilisu dam in the southeastern province of Anatolia has provoked controversy because it will flood a large area and force 55,000 people, mostly Kurds, to leave their homes. German ECA Hermes has also agreed in principle to guarantee the German construction company Zueblin for its activities in Ilisu on condition that at least 35 of some 150 conditions are met. The dam violates most international environmental norms and its approval by OECD based ECAs demonstrates a clear lack of serious commitment to standards which are currently being renegotiated.