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Prime Minister Takes Issue With Sir John

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Wednesday, March 23, 2005 - Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony has taken issue with Sir John Compton over his statement that a Central Bank report says that the underground economy from drugs and money laundering” accounts for over 25% of St. Lucia’s economy.

The claim was made in a statement issued by Sir John to the press last week and published in the weekend’s newspapers.

The Prime Minister, who is also Minister of Finance and Economic Development, says: “This is a very serious allegation and no one, including Sir John Compton, should be allowed to besmirch the reputation and character of St. Lucia.”

Dr Anthony says he has “therefore written to the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Sir Dwight Venner, requesting him to clarify whether the Central Bank in fact made any such statement, and if so, where and when it was made or published.”

The Prime Minister says he would be “astonished” if the Central Bank ever made such a statement, but he prefers to await confirmation from the Central Bank before he makes any statement in response to Sir John Compton’s published claim.

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