EU blacklisting is simply not fair, complains Sir Hilary

The University of the West Indies has condemned the recent European Union blacklisting of Barbados and four other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) financial centres as tax havens.

Also included on the EU blacklist, which was issued on December 5 following ten months of investigations by EU officials, are Grenada, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

In a strongly worded statement today, Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles warned the unilateral move by the EU stood to have a deleterious effect on these economies, while accusing the EU of singlehandedly “derailing” and “undermining” the global financial system.

“This latest decision by the EU is based on new, unilaterally-determined and unclear criteria that differ significantly from the currently accepted international standards of tax transparency, anti-money laundering and accountability.

“These universally accepted standards were established by the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum and demanded by the very EU,” Sir Hilary said, while contending that CARICOM countries had either met or exceeded these accepted international standards and best practices over many years and demonstrated a long-standing, unwavering commitment to adhere to them.

The Barbados-born vice chancellor further said the unilateral EU blacklisting was “de facto a derailing of these standards and undermine the entire process of accountability and fairness in financial matters carefully constructed by the world community,” while warning that this “unfavourable and unfair categorization of certain CARICOM countries is likely to result in reputational damage, encouragement of de-risking, including the withdrawal of correspondent banking services and the imposition of costs in the adjustment to new onerous regulatory requirements.

“Further, whether intentional or accidental, this action is tantamount to creating a competitive advantage for offshore financial centres operating within the national jurisdiction of European Union member states,” Sir Hilary said.

“The UWI stands with the governments of the Caribbean in protesting the recent actions by the EU and calling for a more transparent and equitable regulatory system and joins the call for the EU to enter into a process to resolve the issue.

“To this end The University of the West Indies . . . will continue to put its expertise and research capacity at the service of governments, the private sector and regional organizations to craft appropriate policy responses,” he added.   

His comments are the latest in a series of regional condemnations of the EU move.

Just last week, CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque voiced strong objection to the move, while urging France to leverage its influence with a view to stopping the EU from taking “arbitrary and punitive actions” against the four blacklisted CARICOM states.

At the same time, Minister of International Business Donville Inniss and his counterparts in Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia and Grenada continue to express surprise and dismayed over their inclusion on the dreaded list.

However, despite this position there is no indication that EU ministers will back down from their position on the blacklisting, which affects 17 global states in total, or the threat of punitive sanctions, even amid feverish behind-the-scenes efforts to get them to change their minds.

6 Responses to EU blacklisting is simply not fair, complains Sir Hilary

  1. Saga Boy December 22, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I am glad that at least someone of importance is making it clear that the blacklisting has nothing to do with politics but with the evil positioning of the EU. It’s all about giving some an unfair advantage. This is a trend in many other areas that is reshaping and impacting negatively on small island states. I fine it amazing that Bermuda and Cayman has escaped this negative listings.

    Reply
  2. Greengiant December 22, 2017 at 7:27 am

    I’ve always admired Sir. Hillary Beckles for his frank independent views on local, regional and international issues. This gentleman who I’ve met, worked with and admired has been able through education to set aside political affiliation, to represent the people of Barbados and this region with integrity.

    He is a shining example for some of the other academics within the UWI who practice their profession here in this region. Two group that instantly comes to mind are the political science and economic lecturers, who often appear to be representing the interest of their political affiliates.vOur academics need remember that the masses have invested in their education, hence their service should be first and foremost to the people.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer December 22, 2017 at 7:28 am

    You lot got exactly what you deserve.

    Reply
  4. jrsmith December 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

    To understand the racist organisation the (EU), with most of its poor ass countries , most of who is broke to be firing salvos constantly at Barbados … What is been hidden from the masses by our politicians …………………
    Why they never bother the (UK) who is the world protectorates of tax havens , because most of the large corporate s from Europe control the financial infrastructure in the (UK) as like the power cartels and what left of the motor industry……………………..

    Reply
  5. Ossie Moore December 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Fellas just sit back, relax enjoy a Johnny Walker Black and listen to the complete Dave Martin and the Trade Winds album for Christmas the one that has ” Boyhood Days, Animal Cricket, De lady motto car and such!!

    Reply
  6. Square One December 27, 2017 at 10:09 am

    If the recent report by the IMF regarding Sagicor is anything to go by, then why is anyone surprised at this move? Show me the laws and /or procedures that are written to enhance or protect our regulatory compliance. Oh how we hate to be criticized when we know for damn sure, it is almost always true. Get over it. Funny! And we think we are independent?

    Reply

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