PM: It’s not an overestimation
May 6, 2011
PM: It’s not an overestimation

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has responded to critics who contend that he exaggerated the estimated cost of the recovery effort to address the damage caused to the northern section of the island{{more}} by a trough system that affected the area on April 12.

At a press conference on Tuesday, May 3, Gonsalves said that he was distressed to hear reports by persons within the Opposition who had been trying to downplay the seriousness of what had taken place.

The Prime Minister said he was clear in his words that the estimated cost of the damage was in the region of tens of millions of dollars.

“In their propaganda, they have said hundreds of millions,” Gonsalves said.

He further contended that on every occasion in which a natural disaster has affected the country, the Opposition had sought to underestimate the extent of the damage.

“The sole purpose of that is to discourage persons from providing help,” Gonsalves said.

He lauded members of the corporate community for their generous contributions to the recovery effort.

Gonsalves said that it was the opinion of some that he needed to sit and wait for a proper assessment from the bureaucrats.

But he explained that he knew the cost of things and that the assessments coming from public servants were showing that not only were the estimates made by him accurate, but that he had underestimated the amount.

“The cleanup which is to take place is just phenomenal,” Gonsalves told members of the media as he urged supporters of the Opposition to tell their leaders to stop being unpatriotic.

The Prime Minister also responded to criticism by some who are of the opinion that he did not have to visit Taiwan and that he could have held meetings with that country’s president and other officials via video conferencing.

Gonsalves reacted to the comment saying that he was not meeting with colleagues from the region but the leader of a country with some 23 million people. (DD)