Categorized | National News

Opposition Questions PM’s European trip

The financial services sector is  said to be extremely nervous about The Prime Minister leading talks with officials of the European commission in Belgium, while the official opposition is questioning the advisability  of the trip.

 Former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell  has given reasons why he believes  the discussions could have easily been done by a cabinet minister or even recently appointed Ambassador to Belgium, Maria O’Brien.

“It makes The Bahamas look like supplicates, like mendicants in fact, that we’re going with our caps in our hands.

“Because the meeting from what we can see, again from the announcement is not a prime minister to prime minister or prime minister to president level, it’s a meeting which is prime minister to officials who are unnamed,” he said. 

“And it seems to me that it makes the country look rather desperate.

“The fact is,  across the Caribbean region there is significant push back coming from all of the countries  that have these financial services sectors, because what the Europeans are doing, they are actually threatening the life blood of many of the countries  and is certainly threatening the life blood of this country.

“The Progressive Liberal Party has always supported the financial services sector and wants to do what is necessary to protect it; but at the same time the dignity and sovereignty of the country has to be protected as well.”  

Mr. Mitchell added that in the past, such high level meetings have not led to fruitful outcomes.

 “We can’t go and embarrass ourselves simply because we think that this is going to do something,” he said. 

“The fact is, these sorts of visits and trips in the past have not really born any fruit. 

“Because as fast as you meet one goal, they shift the goal post to something else.

“So we think that it bears a more reflective period now as you determine what you’re going to do going forward,” he said.

“And we think that it needs a common approach across the Caribbean, a pan Caribbean approach as opposed to an individual going off and acting on his own,” Mr. Mitchell said.

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman suggests  the Minister for Trade, Finance, Foreign Affairs, The Attorney General or the Ambassador to Belgium would have been better suited to attend such a meeting.

The talks are focused on fulfilling the country’s commitments to the European Union and how those commitments will be implemented by the financial services sector.

The delegation is  expected back in the capital  today. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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