Parliamentary crisis halts EU funding for sea defence, sugar sectors

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Parliament[www.inewsguyana.com] – The European Union says it is withholding funds for the sugar and sea defences sectors in Guyana until all “eligibility criteria, inter alia budget oversight, are satisfactorily addressed.”

A statement from the EU on Friday, January 23 noted that in 2014, €34 million was allocated to Guyana under the 11th European Development Fund.

“EU aid is channeled through different modalities. Budget support is one of them,” the statement noted.

The EU has two on-going budget support programmes in Guyana, one for the sugar sector (€28.9 million) and one for sea defences (€14.8 million).

“The latest partial payments related to these two programmes have been temporarily put on hold,” the EU noted.

President Donald Ramotar’s decision to prorogue Guyana’s 10th Parliament has received widespread criticisms from the diplomatic community, including the European Union.

Recently, Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh noted that the reasons provided to the Guyana government by the EU for withholding the funds were spurious and unreliable.

“We have an ongoing engagement with the EU… spurious reasons were provided, reasons that have no basis,” he told Reporters on, 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.

But 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.

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