Thursday, May 27, 2010

PM criticises Opposition Leader on ALBA

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 23:36

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has defended the Venezuela-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), while accusing Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace of having a bookkeeper’s mentality against to the initiative.

“ a many sided agreement where nations are in solidarity with one another on strictly economic matters,” Gonsalves said, noting that “Venezuela has oil and we can have had a relationship where we can benefit from oil”.

Eustace has in the past been critical of the Gonsalves government close links with Caracas which he believes has been influencing a number of government policies in recent times.

But Gonsalves, who has just returned from attending the summit of European, Latin America and Caribbean countries in Spain, said Eustace, a Canadian trained economist, operates like a book keeper lacking the creative means of solving economic problems.

The Prime Minister said that since his administration came to office in 2001, it has implemented a number of programmes including low income houses, which the state has provided with funds provided from ALBA.

ALBA is the alternative to the US-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) that will allow member countries to enter into trade negotiations on more favourable terms.

Apart from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda are the other Caribbean signatories to the ALBA accord.