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Barbados PM writes German Chancellor, EU about blacklisting

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union (EU), on the issue of plans to blacklist the country, stating that “it is wrong and disproportionate.”

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley (File photo)

Barbados is scheduled to be blacklisted by the EU on Tuesday, due to the country’s failure to enact tax framework in the 2015-2018 timeframe.

”The EU is adamant that it has the right to blacklist countries and even that phrase (blacklist), I find offensive…..well, I’m black and I’m proud. (They have said) that we will take a lash on Tuesday, not because of anything done by this government but because between 2015 and 2018 – they are now going to give us a lash by something not done by this government but by the last administration. Because the last administration did not do audits…We will take it but we will disagree with them. I told them that it is wrong and disproportionate…” said Mottley who was speaking at a political rally late Sunday, ahead of the upcoming by-election.

The European Union flag flies in the wind in front of the economic bloc’s office in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: The Daily Observer)

According to Mottley, the EU will be getting banks and their financial institutions to “put measures on us…. we say that most of the banks will say that Barbados is too small. They don’t even think that we are a problem for them. Because as far as they are concerned, Barbados is just a dot on the map.”

Barbados was required to implement a number of changes to its tax exchange framework between July 2015 and June 2018 in order to become fully compliant with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Global Forum Standard on the exchange of tax information.

However, the changes did not take place in the stipulated time frame, and the necessary legislative framework was put in place by December of 2019, but this did not save the country from getting a rating of “partially compliant” when the review was completed in March of this year for the July 2015 to June 2018 period.

For the European Union –  once a jurisdiction receives a partially complaint rating by the OECD, it will be automatically blacklisted.

Speaking last week, Minister of International Business Ronald Toppin sought to assure the nation that “we have done and are doing everything possible and beyond to ensure that we secure a rating of at least ‘largely compliant’ in the shortest possible time.”