Grenada could escape EU blacklist in January, says PM

Keith Mitchell.

Grenada may find itself free from the European Union tax haven blacklist by the end of January, according to Prime Minister Keith Mitchell.

Appearing as a guest on GBN’s Beyond the Headlines, Mitchell explained he believes that Grenada should not have been placed on the list at all.

“Grenada is expected to be removed before the end of January from that blacklist, so I think we will have gone through that process successfully,” he said, explaining that the economic unit of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will meet on 23 January.

“Mistakes” had been made in the decision, he added.

The Island of Spice found itself on European Union blacklist of territories deemed to be tax havens on 5 December, alongside eastern Caribbean neighbour St Lucia.

Their inclusion was blamed on a failure to sign or ratify the OECD multilateral convention on mutual administrative assistance, and the fact that the government not clearly commit to addressing the issues by the end of 2017.

Also on the list are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

According to Reuters, blacklisted countries may no longer be used by EU institutions for international financial operations, and transactions involving them could be subject to closer scrutiny.

The Ministry of Finance said they made commitments to the EU Code of Conduct Group via letters on 17 and 20 November 2017, but this failed to satisfy the European authorities.

The decision to add Grenada to the blacklist was unfair, Mitchell said.

“In specifically the case of Grenada, we had asked for some communication sent to us so that we move and deal with what we’re supposed to do, and we did not… they took a very long time to send it.

“Since the blacklist came on they have sent the information, we have then replied, and as I said before the end of the month – from indication and correspondence as have received – we expect to be removed from that blacklist.”


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