28 July 2011

Montserrat Chief Minister explains territory's status in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States


The Montserrat Reporter

Chief Minister Reuben Meade has sought to set the record straight about Montserrat’s position as a member of the Organisation of the East Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union and as a consequence in the ECCU, which latter extends from its membership of the East Caribbean Bank (ECCB).

One member of the local press corps had asked a question during the press conference which followed the ECCU ministers meeting on Friday, July 15, 2011, at the Cultural Centre. The question suggested that there were conflicting theories or beliefs on Montserrat’s position, being in or out of the Union as a member of the OECS.

The Chief Minister’s initial response: “I really don’t understand your perception of this in and out I have said it as clearly as I could that Montserrat will not be dictated to as to whether or not it will be in or out. Montserrat is in and we’re not asking anybody permission to go in,” he said.

Surmising there may be some confusion, hence the question, he added and explained. “Whereas, we may not be able to sign the treaty until we get special dispensation under the new Constitution, which comes into effect 1st of September, (2011), we have abided by every agreement within the OECS. And, you would recognize that the free movement of labour, which the OECS agree to implement by the first of August, was an initiative as part of the OECS. So, we are in the OECS, we’re part of the OECS community, we’re full members of the ECCU, and we pay our dues.”

To be emphatic about his statement, he added, “So I don’t want to hear any further discussion as to whether we’re in or out, we are in.”

But the CM showed his further annoyance at the question and spoke about what he refers to as mental slavery.

Let me answer on behalf of Montserrat again, and as I have said to you the sole aspect about mental slavery where we have to go to seombody from across the pond to ask for an explanation that your local politician is giving you because you don’t believe us we are saying and I’m going to say it very slowly Montserrat is a full member of the OECS, so whoever else wishes to tell you otherwise from wherever they come you can say to them we are full members of the OECS, we pay our dues, we attend the meetings, we make decisions and we comply with the regulations of the single market.

Also see:  Montserrat Colonial History From Emancipation Until...

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