U2 frontman Bono today dismissed reports in the British tabloid press which claim he was planning a second Live Aid concert. Speaking as he met with the European Union's development ministers at Dubli
U2 frontman Bono today dismissed reports in the British tabloid press which claim he was planning a second Live Aid concert. Speaking as he met with the European Union's development ministers at Dublin Castle, Bono said that the issues of debt, poverty and disease were too big for a concert to address.
"We would love to be talking about Live Aid II, but the sums of money we are dealing with are in the billions of euros, not the millions," Bono told delegates. "It would help, but not fix the problem." The original Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia in 1985 raised an estimated $100 million to fight hunger in Ethiopia.
Bono added that the world was facing a dangerous time, and Europe could show its influence in a way that went beyond trade or military strength. The first priority for the European Union, he said, was to boost aid efforts for the world's poorest countries, and keep promises on debt and assistance. "Continental Africa is bursting into flames right now, there's an emergency going on and for me it's not really about charity at this point, it's about justice," he said. "A lot of people in Europe are doing great things, but a lot of promises have been broken."
However, one EU official said Bono was badly informed about aid and debt, and depended heavily on scare stories by non-governmental organizations. "He was taken aback when he heard about the realities of what the EU is doing, and what the obstacles were. I think he was impressed, and learnt something," the official said. EU aid commissioner Poul Nielson told the star that he should continue to rock the boat on aid, but should first get his facts right.