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Opposition Leader: PM’s recent travels ‘insensitive’


Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace has described the recent visit by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to Azerbaijan, Palestine and Georgia as “insensitive”.{{more}}

Eustace, in his contribution to the 2012 Budget Debate on Tuesday, January 10, said that the fiscal situation was likely to continue to deteriorate under what he called “the mismanagement” of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration.

“… the lack of sensitivity of the trip by the Prime Minister during the Christmas/New Year period, while many people were here seeking to get their pay before Christmas,” Eustace contended.

According to the Opposition Leader, he had no problem with the prime minister traveling, especially if it was being done to promote the interest of the country and people.

“But the kind of economic performance that we have shown, and at Christmas time when people would have worked and would not have gotten all that was due to them,” Eustace explained.

“It was insensitive and totally unnecessary, and it could have been done at another time,” he continued.

The season was supposed to be one of goodwill to all men and goodwill of the people, he said.

But Senator Julian Francis, Minister of Transport and Works, during his contribution to the Budget debate, defended the prime minister’s visit saying that it will only be a matter of time before the people of this country see the results of the trip.

“Leading officials from those countries will visit this country. There is no question in my mind about that. All of them, and they will bring with them their committments and contributions to help us in these perilous times,” Francis said on Wednesday.

He further contended that the Christmas season was in fact the most opportune time to pay the respective countries visits, adding that he was proud of the prime minister for making the visit.

“Insensitivity, I refer to when the teachers were in negotiations with the Leader of the Opposition, then Minister of Finance and when he got down to the tail end he said ‘Not one more cent for you all’ – that’s what I call insensitivity, not a prime minister going overseas to look for resources,” Francis said. (DD)