Economist posits suggestion to fight EU designation

Speaking on OBSERVER media’s Big Issues, Dr Avinash Persaud said producing such a document would help debunk suggestions from places, like the European Union (EU), that the region is not in compliance with international regulations.

“A list would cost something like US $150, 000 per year to produce. We have presented this information to Caricom for the past two to three years, and they say they can’t agree to spend that money,” he charged.

Dr Persaud said despite the cost, such a financial index is worth the cost, since regionaleconomies could ultimately crash due to unfavorable and unfair financial reviews.

He was commenting on the European Union’s recent blacklisting as tax havens, Antigua & Barbuda and 12 other Caribbean countries.

Chairman of the Financial Services Regulator Commission, Ron Maginley said the region should take the new EU classification seriously.

“You should take some of these reckless pronouncements as a virtual act of war against our economies, people and economic interests,” he charged.

Maginley said islands should take a strong stance against such action to avoid further damage and threat to regional economies.

He said there is “no basis” for the label since many regional governments have implemented laws and regulatory bodies to govern their financial sectors.

Agreeing with Maginley, Dr Persaud has dismissed the EU move as “a new form of colonialism”.

He said, however, the region needs to be intelligent in responding to the EU, since many countries are heavily dependent on funding from the grouping.

“We need to evolve our financial service sectors, so that they are more immune to these types of attacks in the future,” he said.

Persaud said the European Union and other financial jurisdictions are forcing the region to keep up with continuously shifting “goal posts”.


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