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St Vincent PM denies knowledge of million-dollar withdrawal
Published on February 14, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Caribbean News Now contributor

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent -- Prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in seeking to clarify statements made by opposition leader, Arnhim Eustace, about the country’s Building and Loan Association, has denied any knowledge of a million dollar withdrawal from the institution by his mother.

Speaking at a media conference, Eustace has questioned the decision of the three-month old Financial Services Authority (FSA) to take over management and control of the Building and Loan Association, warning it could lead to further loss of investor confidence in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

He also disclosed that Gonsalves’ mother, Theresa Francis, withdrew over one million EC dollars (US$370,000) from the Building and Loan Association late last year, even as Gonsalves was encouraging citizens not to withdraw their funds from the institution.

The opposition leader said that he has been reliably informed that the funds in the name of Francis were withdrawn during the period when Gonsalves supervised the institution.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
In his response, Gonsalves said that he had not been aware of this development.

He said that the Association has been experiencing financial difficulties since 2009 as a result of delinquent loans.

The prime minister said that, despite these problems, he had not encouraged anyone to withdraw shares from the Building and Loan Association.

Gonsalves said that his government is committed to working with the Building and Loan Association and the Financial Services Authority to ensure the continued strengthening of the Association.
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Ian Francis, Toronto, Ontario:

Mr Editor:

I do not want to be accused or villified by Prime Minister Gonsalves detractors who are very well known on this medium.

Suffice to say that I found the allegations against my comrade Prime Minister and his family to be disgusting.

Honestly, Comrade Gonsalves mother should not have been drawn into this character assassination and Opposition Leader Eustace should be cognizant of same.

I understand the competitive and compelling nature for Eustace to attack Comrade Prime Minister. However, these attacks should be clean and not used for short term political gains.

Finally, the family of Prime Minister Gonsalves and their financial dealings should not be mirrored in the daily governance of the St. Vincent Nation.

I think it is time that the detractors give Comrade Gonsalves a chance, respect and acceptance that he is the PRIME MINISTER.

Forward my Comrade Prime Minister and do not be distracted by the Opposition MISFITS who relish political power at cost.

I am deeply ashamed that the Opposition Leader has stooped so low. I would not have been surprised at Peter in such mischief.


IAN FRANCIS, I would expect little else from you. You are an educated idiolect idiot of the first order. Why do you need to badmouth Eustace who said nothing bad, nothing disrespectful about Gonsalve's mother. Yet support Gonsalves who told the World that his mother suffers from Alzheimer's and is in a wheel chair, all the things gentlemanly Eustace withheld with great restraint and respect.

Now if Ms Francis, mother of Ralph Gonsalves [how come he has a different name] was unable, unfit and mentally unable to make that decision, what does that tell us, it tells us that someone acting for her withdrew that money, one or more of her children. I suppose some would say its a sons duty to protect their mother.

Keeping in mind that PM Gonsalves told us he is a liar, no I did not make that up, he told us whilst in parliament that he sometimes tells lies. Its recorded in Hansard, there for history to judge forever.

Now when he tells us he never discussed or advised his mother or family to withdraw their money from BLA. Can we believe him or is he telling us lies. If he did discuss it with his family that is tantamount to giving them a pecuniary advantage over other investors.

I do not think that Gonsalves or the government directly caused the present BLA situation, that was management failure, past and present. But there has been a more than serious failure of the governments legal and fiduciary control over Building and Loan, just as they failed British American and CLICO. Failure to have in place proper controls, or guarantee deposits, to insure and ensure that investors get their money or a good portion of their money from a government controlled fund if the company fails [such is law and a legal requirement of the government] .

I am amazed that investors in BA and CL didn’t sue the government in a joint action.

Gonsalves as minister of finance has failed in his duty to the people, anyone with an ounce of decency would resign.

Its not what they have done, its the way they did it, that has people thinking there was something conspiratorial about it.

There is a cloud of darkness and doubt over the whole thing from 2009 to PM Gonsalves mothers cash withdrawal, to Luke Browne’s letter, to the FSA take over, now to the disgraceful disclosure by Gonsalves [for his own purposes], of the secret files of the ministry of finance and BLA. A disclosure that seals the fate of BLA as a failed association, with no regard to small investors.

IAN FRANCIS, carry on with your blind support for Gonsalves, its well recorded that you do that at every instance possible, right or wrong you support him. In fact you are known on the internet medium to support every facet of the loony left, every left wing and some what I would call Marxist led governments.


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