DEBATE WIDENS OVER EPA

The Struggling Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Caribbean and Europe. Published by The Trinidad and Tobago Review The Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies.

A sharp debate which pits tow Caribbean leaders against each other, has broken out over the EPA which is due to be signed on March 15th. On one side is the growing lobby for a full and public review of the agreement.

That lobby, which supports the stance taken by Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo, is being organized in cyberspace on a website created by Norman Girvan, one of the most senior Caribbean economists.

Some of the most eminent voices across the English and non-English speaking Caribbean have already added their names to the petition including Rex Nettleford, Kari Levitt, Havelock Brewster, C.Y. Thomas, Micheal Witter, Clairemont Kirton and Girvan himself. Emerging as the leader of the other side of the debate has been Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding who rose to the fore last week with a scathing attack on critics of the EPA, accusing them of mendicancy and of being in the psychological shackles of slavery.

“Part of what has held back this region for so long is that there are too many of us who carry not a chip on our shoulder, but a whole light pole” Golding declared.

The Jamaican leader argued that he EPA, covering a market of 450 million people, provided a basis for the countries of Caricom to Collectively look outwards for opportunities rather than to compete in each other’s markets.

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