BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Beware of organised crime
Caribbean academic Mark Figueroa has sounded a warning against the emergence of organised crime.
Delivering a lecture in Dominica Dr Figueroa, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, suggested that Roseau should ensure it took steps to prevent organised crime taking hold there.

He said crime in the region was not driven by poverty, and that organised crime had taken over in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr Figueroa warned that young people committing gun crime were becoming “soldiers of organised crime”.

TCI premier goes to work
Britain was yesterday laying before the parliament in London, an order to suspend the cabinet and legislature in the Turks and Caicos Islands, following an official probe there into alleged corruption.
But the territory’s new premier who took over on Tuesday and whose term will be cut short as soon as London suspends the territory’s constitution, was wasting no time trying to deal with matters he said were important for the islands.

Premier Galmo Williams said in an address to the nation that although the House of Assembly stands prorogued until April 1 (2009), he wanted it reconvened immediately to ensure that the country’s business can move forward.

Mr Williams said he would utilise the expertise of the financial professionals the British Government has assigned to the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Finance to introduce a fiscal stabilisation plan.
Regional grouping Caricom has issued a statement criticising Britain’s decision on the territory. The organisation says it threatens the territory’s democracy.

Relief measures for Guadeloupe and Martinique

France’s minister for overseas departments Yves Jego has approved several measures expected to help Guadeloupe and Martinique recover from their recent strikes that paralyzed the economy.
Mr Jego is issuing a 6-month moratorium on debts for small to medium size businesses.
He has also spoken about offering zero-interest loans for a maximum of 25,000 euros, as well as making it easier to create part-time jobs.
One union leader in Martinique called the plan ambitious, but conceded that it could help the islands recuperate losses.

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