ST JOHN’S, Antigua — Recently, Antigua Labour Party (ALP) leader Gaston Browne threatened to pull out of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union. However, Tourism Minister John Maginley has noted that this would be a disaster for Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and economy.
“Gaston Browne’s suggestion that Antigua and Barbuda leave the OECS Economic Union is reckless and irresponsible,” said Maginley. “Think about the consequences of Gaston’s suggestion. What would happen to our money? Would we have to leave the Eastern Caribbean Dollar and abandon the Central Bank? Would our citizens lose the ability to travel freely across the region to visit their family and friends? Gaston Browne’s reckless policy would cause economic chaos in our country and would result the loss of hundreds of jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans.”
Maginley continued, “Gaston Browne and Asot Michael’s dangerous suggestion to leave the OECS Economic Union isn’t worth the risk. This is not leadership. This is reckless political posturing designed to scare people and win political points. As we emerge from the worst global economic situation since the Great Depression, the last thing we need is a currency crisis.”
“Antigua and Barbuda is a critical transportation hub for the region and a major investor in LIAT. We are a major priority for the airline thanks to both our investor stake and our geographic significance within the region. Further, when our beautiful new airport terminal comes online, we’ll be well placed to continue to be a major air hub for the eastern Caribbean,” concluded Maginley.