Dominica wants compensation from EU over blacklisting

Friday, July 12, 2019

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says Europe should consider some form of compensation to Dominica after it agreed to remove the island from its blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.

The EU removed the island from the list in May and Skerrit, speaking at a ceremony here in celebration of Venezuela's 208th anniversary of independence, said that Europe should consider the compensation because the decision to place the island on the blacklist was wrong.

“We are seeing some movements in the world to try to re-colonise the region, and they are unable to do it politically and so they do it through the economic instruments.

“We have suffered for this, where, for example, the European Union blacklisted Dominica for no reason whatsoever. So if when they call me to say they have removed Dominica from the blacklist and they are extending congratulations to us, I said, 'I don't need your congratulations, you cannot extend an injustice to my country and then when you have sought to undo the injustice, you are congratulating me'.

“I say; you should be indicating to me as the leader of my country what form of compensation you should be putting to us for denying us of our right for self-determination. So I do not wish to receive your congratulations because you cannot extend congratulations for causing an injustice to our nation;” Skerrit said.

“But in this world, as you know, there are nations that are more powerful and have controls over the economic instruments of this world and the mechanisms, and they impose it on us, so we understand this,” Skerrit said, praising China for “standing as a beacon of principle in this world, defending nations like ours against injustices across the world”.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders at their annual summit in St Lucia last weekend, continued to express “their deep concern at the continued blacklisting” of some Caribbean countries by Europe, saying that they “viewed such action as a clear and direct threat to the economic well-being of those countries and the region”.

The regional leaders stressed that every member state “had a sovereign right to determine their fiscal policy” and that “it was unacceptable that compliance with the regulatory measures and standards for tax transparency set by the recognised global authority was being disregarded by others who imposed arbitrary rules with respect to tax governance and anti-money laundering, without meaningful consultation with the affected States”.

They said they also ”abhorred the continued inclusion” of Caribbean countries on the United States list of Major Money Laundering Jurisdictions which conveys the erroneous perception of the Caribbean as high-risk and so targeted for the de-risking strategies of global banks.

They said such behaviour undermined global rule-making and the relevant multilateral systems and “emphasised the need for member states to continue their vigilance in regard to the various processes underway in the European Union (EU) in order to protect their national interests”.

The leaders also agreed to refine “the Caricom strategy on blacklisting and will make greater efforts to secure a more collaborative relationship with the European Union and United States on tax governance and related matters”.

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