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German Firm Halts Banknote paper Shipments to Zimbabwe

A German firm says it has stopped supplying banknote paper to Zimbabwe because of the political crisis there.

Heiko Witzke is a spokesman for Giesecke and Devrient. From Munich, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about why the sales were stopped.

"Giesecke and Devrient has decided to cease delivering banknote paper to the reserve bank of Zimbabwe with immediate effect. And we've taken this step in response to an official request from the German government and call for international sanctions by the European Union and the United Nations," he says.

Witzke declined comment on the size of the firm's contract with Zimbabwe or whether there had been discussions with the German government about Zimbabwe.

"We cannot publicly comment on any questions about individual client relationships…. You have to understand that supplying banknotes is a sovereign task and there are certain rules, which are set by the World Bank. And one of these rules is that banknote providers and central banks are required to keep their activities highly confidential. And as such, we cannot publicly comment on any questions about individual client relationships," he says. (English to Africa 7/2)