Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he is anxious to have the CLICO debacle settled as quickly as possible, but this evening warned “the devil is in the details”.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the launch of the book Caribbean Tourism written by chairman of LIAT, Dr Jean Holder, Gonsalves revealed that he would be meeting “very shortly” with Minister of FInance Chris Sinckler. This on the heels of talk held with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, at last week’s CARICOM meeting in Kingstown.
“We have to come to a solution very soon. It has been going on too long . . . . There is a plan which has been proposed by the persons who were given the mandate by the court, but we haven’t seen all of the details [of the plan], which is the broad outline . . . . We have to see the details.
“We are further towards the end of the road with the one on British American [Insurance Company] than we are with CLICO, though British American was more severe. While the assets for CLICO may be 50 or 60 per cent of the liabilities, in the case of British American, the assets were a number approaching zero,” the Vincentian prime minister said, while noting that British American was a “greater problem”.
With regards to British American, Gonsalves further explained that there was a “fairly comprehensive framework” which included some resources, which had come from the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
“ . . . Plus we are taking some legal action against British American and some of their directors. CLICO is different and I wouldn’t want to prejudice any discussions by talking about what will be the contours of any settlement, but clearly it is a regional problem and it has to be settled regionally.
“We have to try to put as far as possible, the policy holders and those who hold instrument in CLICO in a position as in the most advantageous where possible or practicable in all circumstances,” he said.