Today U2 and Radiohead fans join forces in a worldwide e-mail petition to force the world's richest countries to cancel the debts of the poorest.

Fans are invited to mass e-mail the Italian Prime Minister and US President-Elect George Bush in a bid to persuade world leaders at this summers G8 Summit in Genoa to finally drop third world debt.

Today, the Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, announced that dealing with the debts of the worlds poorest countries will be on the agenda of the Summit that his country will host.

In the last two years the worldwide Jubilee 2000 campaign, supported vigorously by both U2's Bono and Thom Yorke of Radiohead, has succeeded in cancelling around $110billion of the $360bn debt burden which keeps many poor countries in poverty.

Campaigners argue that until the poorest countries are allowed to spend more on healthcare than debt payments, debt cancellation will remain the unfinished business of the new millennium.

'Last year we got one-third of the debts cancelled.' said Adrian Lovett, Director of Drop the Debt, the campaign group developed from Jubilee 2000 'Now it's time for the G8 to finish the job. We need a New Deal on Debt that will ensure that the poorest countries stop spending more on debt than on the health of their people. Without this, children will continue to die needlessly as debt repayments are put before basic medicine and clean water'.

Drop the Debt is a London-based campaign working with campaigners around the world to win a New Deal on Debt for the poorest countries by the time of the G8 Genoa summit, which takes place on 20-23 July 2001. It is calling on the G8 to honour their promises of debt write-off for the poorest countries, and to instruct the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to cancel 100 per cent of the debts owed to them.

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