12 December, 2009


 The battle of the press releases?  The controversy highlighted in my post of yesterday continues in the press and on the airwaves.  The Minister of Finance of Anguilla was on Radio Anguilla at 9:00 pm and again at 10:00 pm last night attempting to explain away his embarrassment.  What appears to be indisputable is that the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has lent the Government of Anguilla the princely sum of EC$12 million.  That should be just sufficient to restore the recent cuts made to public servants salaries, and to pay a double salary in time for Christmas.  The doubt lies in the circumstances in which the loan was made. 
According to the GoA press release, the government of Anguilla has never approached the government of Dominica for a loan or gift at any time.  That blanket denial would include a refutation that the GoA ever asked the GoD to extend some of its credit with the ECCB to Anguilla.  Our position is that the PM of Dominica has made an unfortunate claim.  Chief Minister Osbourne Fleming has contacted the Governor of the Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner, and requested that he ask PM Skerrit to retract his statement.  Here is the Anguilla press release in full

Dominica has issued a press release attempting to clear up any misunderstanding over what PM Skerrit said.  It has explained that Dominica has not borrowed any funds from the ECCB for the past 5 years.  Dominica therefore has a credit with the ECCB to the tune of EC$89 million.  Anguilla, by contrast, had utilized all of its credit with the ECCB and could not borrow any more.  Dominica, therefore, last week gave Anguilla $12 million worth of Dominica’s credit.  The Dominica Minister of Finance, presumable at the request of the Anguilla Minister of Finance, had to give his consent in writing to this transaction.  So, the PM was not incorrect in stating that Dominica had helped its sister island of Anguilla.  He was merely speaking off the cuff, and may have used the wrong technical jargon.
Here is part of the Dominica press release:

Now, it will be obvious to a child that these two press releases cannot both be correct.  Either Anguilla went cap in hand to Dominica to extend some of its credit to Anguilla, or that is a complete falsehood. 
It will be interesting to see who has to apologise to whom.


  1. This morning i listened to koolfm radio and Eddie Baird did an excellent job of explaining this loan.
    If the GOA were not allowed to borrow as the borrowing limits had already been reached in August. Then this loan would seem to be wrongful and our ministers have behaved badly. If this is true then the people who signed this borrowing of $12,000,000 are personally responsible and owe the money NOT THE PEOPLE OF ANGUILLA!!!
    So we need to inform the Central bank that Anguilla is not and will not be liable for this loan and have been told by Britain that they can not borrow any more until certain conditions are met. We must also let the British know that only the ministers are responsible NOT THE ANGUILLIAN PEOPLE!!! for this amount.
    If the governor knew of this loan then he must also be personally responsible. WE ARE NOT!!!

  2. http://www.dominicanewsonline.com/all_news/general/8463.html

    NOT HAPPY IN THE VALLEY: Anguilla reacts to Dominica's money claim
    BY CMC
    Originally published: December 12, 2009 04:13:00 PM
    Last updated: November 30, -0001 01:54:24 AM

    ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC - Anguilla’s Chief Minister Osbourne Fleming says he is “very upset” at recent statements made by Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit that the administration in Roseau has provided financial assistance to the British Overseas Territory.

    Fleming, speaking on a local radio station Saturday, said his government has not signed any loan agreement with Dominica and called on Skerrit to recant statements he made on a political platform that suggested Anguilla was a recent beneficiary of financial support from Dominica.

    “We signed no agreement with anybody from Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada or anybody about a loan. I am very upset, very upset. I am upset because I didn’t sign any loan agreement, neither did anybody in Anguilla sign any loan agreement with Dominica,” Fleming said angrily.

    Skerrit told a political rally on Thursday night that Anguilla and fellow Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member Antigua and Barbuda both received millions of dollars from the Dominican government.

    “Just last week, the Government of Dominica had to give to the Government of Anguilla some EC$12 million (US$4.5 million) because things are difficult in Anguilla,” he said at the campaign meeting ahead of December 18 general election, adding that the funds were taken from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in St Kitts.

    “In the month of August of 2009 we gave to Antigua over EC$24 million (US$9 million) of our money at ECCB to help them, because the country is having difficulty,” the Prime Minister added.

    Skerrit, who currently holds the chairmanship of the ECCB Monetary Council, was at the time seeking to explain to supporters of his Dominica Labour Party that the country’s economy was stable to the point that he could assist other countries in the region ride out the impacts of the global economic crisis.

    Chief Minister Fleming said his government recently signed a loan agreement with the St Kitts-based ECCB but had no knowledge of an agreement between the governments of Anguilla and Dominica.

    Fleming said while he understood that politicians often say things on the political platform that are best left unsaid, he wanted the Dominican leader to recant his statements to put the minds of the Anguillan people at rest.

    “It could be a genuine mistake or it could be something that was carried over in the wrong way. But I would hope that he would recant the statement or clarify it because the people in Anguilla are very upset about this matter,” the Chief Minister said.

    Antigua and Barbuda’s Finance Minister, Harold Lovell, also said he was in the dark about what the Dominican leader was speaking about.

    He said after hearing Skerrit’s announcement he “instructed his technicians to do their own research which uncovered nothing in relation to what the Prime Minister said”.

    The Anguillan Finance Ministry also sought to clarify what it called “an unfortunate claim by the Prime Minister of Dominica”.

    A statement issued Friday by the permanent secretary in the Finance Ministry explained that all the governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union are allocated a sum of money by the ECCB that is available for short-term credit if needed.

    These funds are made available from profits made by the ECCB and not from monies deposited by regional governments, it said.

    The statement added that the government in The Valley made an application for a short-term credit facility from the Central Bank in November from that fund and as a result the ECCB negotiated with the governments of the ECCU to enable the bank to provide the funding to Anguilla.

  3. We need to ask that anyone or any country who has any knowledge of what our anguillian government is up to with regards to borrowing. Please let us the anguillian people know, just as the Dominican prime minister has done. Our government seems to borrow in secret using the name of Anguilla. Until february, when we have elections and a change of government, which must happen, we are in the dark as to what is happening in our own country with Borrowing, moa's mou's etc.
    If this most recent borrowing should have been presented in the house of assembly before any action was taken and was not, then the speaker and the government must resign immediately and must not be allowed to sign or authorise to be signed, or recieve any government cheques for any purpose. This sounds very serious to me.

  4. This is another game of semantics. The government of Dominica had to give consent for the governments of Anguilla and Antigua to borrow these funds, had they (Anguilla and Anguilla governments) no these funds would not have been made available. It's very simple, the governments can spin it all they want.....

  5. i am amased by the level of illetarates that we have in dominica who see no good in there country and are still trying to make
    antigua and angiulla belive that they are so much better than us. dont matter in what way weather it was directly or indirectly
    its proven that dominicas potion of credit has gone to ant &ang because our pm agreed to have them use it. theses are the same
    people who treat u dominican with ridiclue .today they are ashamed that we can help them . i belive the pm on the figuers.why
    should we belive the others when the first statment from the minister of finance of antigua was that the statement was false but
    who have the financial sec go back and say that its only 5 . some million?
    the shame is already on u illetarates dont u see who the ang minister mad the grovy bat look just as the fool that he is . get a
    life dominicans and put some faith in your country accept the fact that the pm and his gov is working for us. or should we allow
    people to realy see us as dummys in d can? go out and vote labour foe continued progress


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