EU financial crisis…Billion$$$ in aid to Guyana unaffected-envoy
Europe’s financial crisis will not affect the billions of dollars in developmental program being carried out in Guyana, officials of the European Union (EU) said yesterday.
According to John Caloghirou, Head of the Caribbean Unit of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU does not work on the basis of annual programs.
There are longer packages and an agreement called the “Contonou Agreement” which is the basis on how the body operates. The current financial cycle runs to 2013 and monies are already available.
“I would certainly say that I do not expect that the financial crisis will impact on developmental cooperation,” the official stated in response to questions.
Several top European countries, including France and Greece are facing severe financial problems.
Funds have been earmarked for Guyana and the Caribbean and even after 2013, when the current financial terms runs out, there will be in all likelihood a much larger allocation in developmental package for the region.
The EU has, during the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), which ends in 2013, allocated 23B Euros for the Caribbean region.
According to Robert Kopecky, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Guyana and Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, its projects, including sea defense and in the sugar industry, are substantial and in the hundreds of millions. The disclosure was made yesterday, during a press conference at the EU’s Brickdam office.
According to Caloghirou, who served as the EU’s Ambassador to Guyana between 1995 and 1999, he has met with President Donald Ramotar, updating him on the relations between the EU and Guyana and EU and the region as a whole.
The EU is currently working to design a joint EU-Caribbean Strategy that will lay the framework for how the future relationship will work between the two. Yesterday, the officials describe the current relationship as a historical and traditional one.
Caloghirou was optimistic that several challenges will present new opportunities for the Caribbean and EU relationship.
Meanwhile, Kopecky is not worried that new and emerging markets for the region will threaten markets with EU, disclosing also that new measures will target projects in the private to build more capacity for Guyana.