By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] –The European Union (EU) is yet to make a payment of some €25 million to Guyana which the country qualified for as budget support under an existing agreement between the two, according to Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.
When asked about the reasons for non-disbursement, Dr. Singh said the EU would be best placed to explain but in his own judgment noted that the reasons provided to the Guyana government were both spurious and unreliable.
“We have an ongoing engagement with the EU… spurious reasons were provided, reasons that have no basis,” he told Reporters on Monday, January 19 at a press conference.
He said Guyana has met it obligations with respect to budget support payments due from the EU and now qualifies for a recommended €25 million.
“We have written confirmation from the EU that Guyana qualified for payments,” he said; adding that “we have discharged all our obligations associated with qualifying for those payments. We have taken the necessary actions, we have implemented the necessary confutations and achieved the necessary targets… why the EU has not disbursed the budget support grants is a mater that they should explain.”
The Finance Minister clarified that nothing in the agreement provides for non-disbursement once Guyana achieved the indications.
But last week, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon had said that it was government’s belief that recent comments by outgoing British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre has revealed a sinister plot by the European Union and United Kingdom to dishonor agreements with the country.
Ayre had warned that Guyana could face sanctions if the ongoing prorogation of Parliament does not come to a speedy end, noting that Guyana would be in breach of the Commonwealth Charter.
He had also threatened the discontinuation of developmental aid.
To this end, Dr. Singh said “I have no doubt that the statement was made after careful deliberation and if he made a nexus between the payments by the EU and the High Commissioner, then he would have a good basis for making that nexus.”