Tuesday 26 May, 2020

No prior warning before EU blacklisting, AG calls it 'unjust'

Attorney General Dale Marshall (FILE)

Attorney General Dale Marshall (FILE)

The European Union (EU) did not even give Barbados a chance to have frank discussions before blacklisting the country again.

On top of the actual blacklisting, this is another bone of contention that the Attorney General has with the whole process.

In a statement issued by Attorney General Dale Marshall he said:

"The Government of Barbados considers the blacklisting of the country by the European Union (EU) over its regulatory regime to combat money laundering and terrorist financing to be both unjust and regrettable.

".  . . As a partner of Barbados, the least that can be expected of the EU before it engages in actions that are likely to result in reputational and economic harm to the country, is the opportunity to have full, fair, free and frank exchanges towards an amicable resolution of the issue."

And as such, Barbados is calling upon the EU, particularly the officials of the Directorate-General for Fiscal Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets (DG FISMA), to "engage in meaningful dialogue with Barbados and other nations which are in similar positions prior to October 2020, with a view to their removal from this blacklist."

As a country that is taking what it deems the necessary steps to safeguard its jurisdiction especially during these COVID-19 pandemic times, the AG said this move is "both insensitive and inconsiderate".

And he contended, "The recent action by the European Union to place Barbados on its blacklist at this time, despite the fact that the list will not be formally adopted until October 2020, therefore, is disappointing and not in keeping with the spirit of partnership that exists between Barbados and the EU."

But the AG has assured Barbadians that "Barbados will not be distracted. 

"We remain focused on making significant strides towards strengthening our regulatory regime and will continue to provide the FATF with regular progress reports on the implementation of [our] Action Plan and our engagement with the Secretariat in Paris.  We will continue the process of seeking ratings' upgrades that will reflect a higher level of compliance with the FATF technical requirements."

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