Responsible action needed on global financial crisis fallout – PPP

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) says that responsible action by all stakeholders is required as Guyana experiences the inevitable consequences of the financial crisis currently gripping the global economy.

In a release on Saturday, the ruling party said that it fully endorsed the statements made by Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh in the 2009 Budget that no country will be spared the effects of the crisis and that it is essential that all stakeholders work together to withstand the current external-related shocks.

In relation to recent developments in the financial sector in the Caribbean, the Party noted “with concern” the developments in the Clico and Stanford Group of Companies and commended the Guyana government authorities “for moving swiftly and decisively to confront the consequences that these developments might have for financial institutions in Guyana”. The PPP welcomed the government’s move to the courts to protect the interest of policyholders in Clico (Guyana) and applauded the assurances given by the government that steps will be taken to protect the pensions of those who saved and invested in institutions affected by the recent events.

The party also condemned what it described as “reckless and irresponsible” statements made and positions that have been taken by the political opposition on the matter. According to the Party, the Leader of the Opposition has thus far failed to disclose that he was fully briefed in advance by President Jagdeo on government’s intentions to move to the court in relation to Clico (Guyana).

The statement also accused “senior” members of the opposition of making and propagating what it described as “false and irresponsible” statements on the status and strength of Guyana’s financial system.

It also cited a news broadcast on VCT Channel 28, owned by PNCR frontbencher, Tony Vieira, casting aspersions on the strength of GBTI. It added that the television station had had to apologize publicly for carrying the report.

The PPP also accused the Opposition of maintaining a “stony silence” and failing to condemn, “false statements” published on the internet regarding the strength of certain financial institutions in Guyana noting that the statements have since had to be retracted and apologies issued.

The statement declared further that, in calling for the resignation of Government officials in Guyana in response to the developments, “the Opposition has demonstrated how far removed they are from reality”. According to the PPP, the current developments are known by all objective persons to be the direct result of global and regional events and throughout the Caribbean, Finance Ministries, Central Banks and other financial sector regulators are all grappling with the situation caused by CLICO and Stanford. The statement pointed out that in Trinidad and The Bahamas, intervention and court action in relation to CLICO have become necessary while in Antigua, government intervention in the Stanford Group has also been needed.

“The call(s) for these resignations are outrageous since they are aware it is external factors that are responsible for what is taking place, yet another example of the complete lack of awareness of external factors by the Opposition and further evidence of their  well-known tendency to resort to politicking on every occasion that presents itself”, the PPP asserted.
It stated that the positions taken by the opposition must be seen as an exploitation of an externally imposed situation for the purpose of partisan politics, in the face of a clear call by government for the country to work together to confront the current challenges. It added that it is also an exposure of the “hypocrisy” of the PNCR’s call for shared governance while in the face of external threats to economic and social progress, they are seeking political mileage.

Further, the PPP said that it welcomes the assurances given on the strength of Guyana’s financial system and reaffirmed the call of all Guyanese to work together to protect this strength.

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