Tuesday 24 November, 2020

Barbados: Mottley writes to German Chancellor and EU on blacklisting

(FILE) Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.

(FILE) Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.

Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Mottley has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Union president Charles Michel to raise issue with the EU's blacklisting of the island from Tuesday.

In her letters, the Prime Minister described the EU's decision as “wrong” and “disproportionate”.

While explaining the situation to persons attending the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) by-election rally at The Glebe, St George on Sunday night, Mottley,  likened it to a man who was caught with a spliff being handed a death sentence.

She placed the blame squarely at the feet of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration,  who failed to enact the required tax framework within the given timeframe. 

Mottley indicated that the previous Government repeatedly refused to answer requests from authorities in North America and Europe for tax information on international business companies that operate from Barbados.

"I want to tell you that we will take a lash on Tuesday, not because of anything done by this Government, but because [of what happened] between 2015, when Freundel (Stuart) was Prime Minister and June 2018 when we became the Government... Because the last Government did not exchange information with countries, and because the last Government did not do audits with the people who do business with the international business sector, who we call the corporate service providers, we now have to take a lash as a country," she added. 

The Prime Minister suggested that the blacklisting would result in restrictions on the local banking sector. 

“They are going to get their banks and their financial institutions to put measures on us. And we say that when they try to do that most of the banks say, ‘But Barbados is too small!’ They don’t even think we are a problem for them because as far as they are concerned, we are a dot on the map. But the dot on the map means they will just say to people, ‘We aren’t banking with you! We aren’t doing business with you!' And companies that may have been here 50 years, … 100 years, now stand to be affected."

She charged that country has been inconvenienced by the mistakes of the previous administration and held that she will be "cleaning" house.

“When I tell you that we are cleaning up, believe you me, as God is my witness, we are. This is the nonsense that the Democratic Labour Party and Freundel Stuart have left for us to clean up," Mottley declared. 

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