BBC Caribbean News in Brief

Slow economic growth predicted

The Grenada economy is not expected to grow again until 2011. The International Monetary Fund which made that assessment, said in a release after a staff mission to the country, that real GDP is expected to decline by over six percent this year. The decline in growth is expected to be less severe in 2010, but still negative or close to zero.

Unemployment is estimated to be as much as 30 percent.

The Fund commended the Grenadian authorities for their strong economic and financial management of the economy during these difficult times.

Capital spending has been cut, budgetary support sought from international institutions and reforms are underway, including a value added tax by February.
Douglas: embrace integration

Kittitian Prime Minister Denzil Douglas says the current global economic climate dictates a rapid move to the next level of integration. Douglas was addressing the official launching of national consultations in the Kittitian capital, Basseterre, on the proposed OECS Economic Union.

He said there that it was an opportune time to establish a truly meaningful economic union to bring tangible benefits to the people of the Eastern Caribbean.

Douglas said the need for shared sovereignty through collaboration and coordination in a strong union was becoming increasingly clear.

He said it could be an important avenue through which the OECS countries protect their national sovereignty and ensure that their voices are heard in international forums.
Clico companies sold

Details are short but press reports in Barbados say that two local subsidiaries of the troubled Clico group have been sold. In May, the Barbados government placed the company under an oversight committee in an attempt to sell it.

The two entities, Clico’s general insurance and mortgage finance arms, were reportedly sold to local companies who broke the news to the Nation newspaper over successive days. No formal announcement of the sales has been made however.
Attack on judge denounced

The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, has condemned an armed attack on a judge in the country.

The mission says Judge Maitre Jean Carves who recently presided over kidnapping cases, was shot on Thursday.

In a release denouncing the attack, MINUSTAH described it as unacceptable interference with the authority of justice in Haiti. The mission’s Justice Section chief, Danielle Saada, said the peacekeepers would provide full support to the national police to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice.

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