[www.inewsguyana.com] – Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana, Jernej Videtič, has responded to former President, Donald Ramotar, who had accused the EU of not delivering on a €25 million agreement.
In a letter published on the official Facebook Page of the Delegation of the European Union in Guyana, the Ambassador made it clear that it was the former PPP government which did not deliver on the terms of the agreement due to the prorogation of Parliament and “little progress in public finance management reforms.”
“It must be remembered that these funds are European citizen’s taxes, and we have a duty to carefully ensure all of our criteria are met before any funds can be released,” the Ambassador wrote.
He further noted that the National Assembly is now sitting and parliamentary oversight is again in place, and that the EU is working closely with the APNU+AFC government to reestablish eligibility criteria to bring these budget support programmes back on track.
See the Ambassador’s response in full below:
I note that in his letter of 20 October 2015 regarding Guyana’s sugar industry, former president Donald Ramotar claims that “the EU did not deliver the €25 million that we had earned and had an agreement on”.
In fact, it was the previous government of Guyana that did not deliver on the terms of the agreement with the EU, including by making little progress in public finance management reforms and by effectively suspending parliamentary oversight of the budget through the prorogation of the parliament. It must be remembered that these funds are European citizen’s taxes, and we have a duty to carefully ensure all of our criteria are met before any funds can be released.
The National Assembly is now sitting and parliamentary oversight is again in place, and we are working closely with the Government to reestablish eligibility criteria to bring these budget support programmes back on track.
Mr Ramotar also implies that the sugar industry’s difficulties were caused “by the changed trading arrangement of the European Union”. I would like to note that the EU sugar regime was changed not due to a unilateral decision by the EU, but due to a ruling by the World Trade Organisation.
In order to mitigate the effects of this ruling the European Union has given over €110 million – that is 26 billion Guyanese dollars – to Guyana to restructure its sugar industry. The European Union has been a strong and reliable partner of Guyana for over forty years, and will continue to be in the future.
Ambassador of the European Union to Guyana