February 6, 2009
Gonsalves appalled at state of T&T politics

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves is appalled by the state of politics in some regions of the Caribbean and seems satisfied with the way he handled his consultation with the opposition on the financial matter of CLICO.{{more}}

Speaking in our local Parliament on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009, Dr. Gonsalves stated that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the only CARICOM country in which the Prime Minister contacted the Opposition Leader and shared information on the matter of the CLICO financial failure.

Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace, who thanked the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for their swift action, also expressed the relief felt by institutions in St. Vincent. “ We are in a position to breathe a little easier because there are guarantees,” he said. The Governor of Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Eswart Williams in a statement to Dr. Gonsalves has guaranteed that the investment of state owned companies in CLICO would be secured.

Relating his experiences during his meeting with the members of the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, Dr. Gonsalves noted that discussions were not held in a calm matter but “was dragged into petty political squabbling”.

Dr. Gonsalves related that members of Parliament were harsh on Williams, a man he referred to as “a distinguished international public servant” and “a man of high integrity”. According to Dr. Gonsalves, Williams was treated harshly after disclosing to the members of Parliament that he had a deposit in the CLICO Investment Bank, which had become mature and was interested in using it as a gift for his grandson’s education fund.

“What are we coming to in the Caribbean?” said Dr. Gonsalves, adding the challenge: “We really have to take stock of ourselves”.

Dr. Gonsalves further stated that parliamentary discussions should be within the context of respect. He described the way in which he made Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace aware of the CLICO financial situation as “beautiful”.