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Journalist fired by Antigua web site after claims gunmen shot at him

In a statement posted on its website, the media house said that after it carried the story on the incident “the report and article caused a firestorm of discussion, suspicion, and queries, which the freelancer was asked to address in a statement.

“He chose to “respectfully decline” to comment, or assist in any way in our internal inquiry into the matter,” Caribarena said, adding it “prides itself on reliably informing and educating our readers.

“Credibility, integrity, and willingness are just a few of the rocks within our foundation that we are building on, and we will not be associated with those that appear to jeopardize that,” it said, informing subscribers that “effective immediately’ it would no longer use the service of the journalist.

The incident had been condemned by the president of the Antigua & Barbuda Media Congress (ABMC), Colin James, who said “this one certainly has come as a surprise and a shock to not only media workers but I believe it’s a complete shock to the entire society.

“If it’s a case where he was attacked because of something he might have written, it’s a very, very serious cause for concern but having said that any attack on any person especially with a gun has to be frowned on,” he added.

In its original story, Caribarena quoted the un-named reporter as saying that someone called out to him before the gunshots were fired and that while the journalist was unharmed, the driver sustained minor injuries from broken glass.

The website said that the police are investigating the matter

-familk� ie�7 p@jan“;mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; color:black;mso-themecolor:text1’>“Just like in the European Currency Union overcoming these challenges are particularly difficult in monetary unions,” he said, adding “sometimes you need a crisis to implement reforms.

“So there are opportunities and I think there is a general feeling in the region that further integration is needed to ensure the viability of the union, but in the European Union you would need to put political capital into the reforms.

Asked what would be some policy recommendations for long term growth in the region, Schipke said there is need for generating conditions for strong sustainable growth which he noted is paramount in the Eastern Caribbean.

“As a matter of fact, the Eastern Caribbean experience strong growth periods in the years after independence, but since the 1990’s prior to the financial crisis, growth slowed down significantly.

“Now that is in part explained by a number of shocks, the erosion of trade preferences that the countries benefitted from Europe, in terms of the trade shocks, higher oil prices and also a reduction in foreign aid.”

He said another issue is that tourism has been a major contributor to economic growth in the region and while “there is some potential for future growth in this particular area in other service areas”, the new growth model for the region will have to rely more on the private sector.

“In the past the role of the public sector was very dominant, but given the very high debt levels, the room for public participation will be more limited, so it has to be more private sectors driven.”

Schipke said unlike within the European Union, there is no opposition to a single currency within the Eastern Caribbean union.

“The common currency has never been questioned given the small size of these countries there is no alternative to that. In addition to that, the Eastern Caribbean had never had its own currency. It was either the British pound, it has had a currency board and it has served the region very well. It has relatively low rates of inflation and it is one of those currency broad arrangements that have success because it has lasted for a very very long time.

“Given that there is no questioning of the common currency that needs to be supplemented with other elements including a sound framework for the financial sector at the regional level … I don’t think there is any questioning that further coordination needs to take place.

“I think the question is more at what speed rather than whether?” he added.

Reprinted from Caribbean360

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