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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 29, IWN – The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has contributed EC$141.5 million to the EC$652 million Argyle international airport up to the end of 2012.

The sum came in the form of property and other contributions, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, told legislators that none of the money contributed by his Government was from revenue raised locally.

The Government has vested EC$385 million worth of land in the International Airport Development Company, the state firm responsible for building the EC$652 million project.

He further said that Iran has contributed EC$4.7.6 million and Trinidad and Tobago has contributed EC$26.8 million to the project.

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Libya gave EC$2.68 million, and Venezuela contributed more than EC$20 million, in addition to three wind stations.

Cuba, which has contributed technical expertise, has given EC$7 million and Georgia just over EC$1 million. Taiwan, gave a grant of EC$52.2 million and a loan of US$10 million, while the CARICOM Development Fund contributed EC$9.6 million.

“Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that all of us are concerned about public debt,” Gonsalves said.

“But isn’t it amazing that where we are building the largest capital project since Conquest and Settlement that we have the smallest debt to GDP ratio in the OECS? That is what you call prudence and enterprise,” he further said.

He said the nation has been able to hold it together while making phenomenal advances in education and health.

Gonsalves said one of the biggest challenges is capacity in the public and private sector, but added that the government is building that.

“I am delivering a quality airport for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And I am going to have some debt but the debt is soft loans. We have had concessionary funding and, Mr. Speaker, when we finish the airport, when we build the city at E.T. Joshua [Airport], when we move the Port; geothermal — those are the large strategic ticket items. I am not majoring in minor,” he further said.

7 replies on “Gov’t spent EC$141 million on Argyle airport”

  1. So where is the US$7 million that Gonsalves told us Iran was giving us? Where is it, tell us where it is, we want to know.

    How about all those countries he visited in December 2011, he travelled extensively through a number of countries, didn’t he tell us that we would be getting money from them. He even spent time in Jerusalem, praying and still got nothing. Are we now finding out that we only got back something under EC$1 million, about the cost of the Grand Tour de East & Europa. Just a pittance from Georgia, is that it, tell us is that it, is that all, we want to know.

    It really is time to stop mentioning the coalition of the willing, because there is no such thing. If they were willing Gonsalves wouldn’t be scrabbling all over the world, perhaps carrying his wife and some MPs, wasting money and valuable time on what has turned out to be nonsense. Some may think it was a Christmas and New Year jolly-up, was it, we need to know was it a jolly-up, was it, we want to know.

    Where is the $20 million that Venezuela currently owe us for the Cubans wages, where is it, where is it, we want to know why they refused to pay. Did the WIKILEAKS US Ambassador reports stop that payment, tell us we want to know.

    Was the Libyan money besides the EC$12.5 million plus from them for the stadium at Diamond that has never been built, where is that money, where is it, tell us where it is. Is it in an escrow account? Or has it supposedly been used for something else, tell us, we want to know.

    We also want to know what the travelling and and associated expenses were, are or whatever, for the last 12 years, tell us, we want to know.

  2. Peter, it seems like you’re RUNNING SCARED and a BIT PARANOID too.

    Who told you that Venezuela owes us money?

    Oh yeah, the NUTCASES in the NDP.

    Do you want JULIAN FRANCIS to EXPOSE that LIE too, just like he did with the CLAIM that the NDP made about how he said that the Argyle airport will be built DEBT FREE?

    When Julian Francis was FINISHED EXPOSING that LIE of the NPD in the HOUSE of PARLIAMENT, they SAT there in SILENCE, because the PRESENTATION was too POWERFUL and FACTUAL for them to DISPUTE..

    Once again, their LIES were EXPOSED for all to hear and see. A lie which you have PRATTLED quite often, like a PARROT, on this blog.

    By the way, PETER, did you INVITE the BBC JOURNALISTS to SVG, who you believed has more integrity than our PM…the ones who you’re touting as FRIENDS of our nation?

    Oh yeah, how is the PANORAMA programme coming along?

    Give us an UPDATE.


  3. patrickferrari says:

    Peter, we are a bunch of low-class prostitutes that have been hustled. We sold out our culture to a bunch of camel jockeys. For what? Chicken feed, that’s what. Iran promised us – them – US$7M; two immediate and five to come – yea right. We – not them – didn’t even see the two.

    High officials in the government were up in arms when I called them towel heads. I am making sure not to make that mistake again.

    And you know what? If they come again pretending to bear gifts, government will grovel the same way making sure our girls give up our culture for theirs. They would have to hide in the kitchen again because the camel jockeys consider them unclean and unfit to be seen in their presence. So much for their mothers.

  4. VINCYPOWA, Gonsalves originally told us the Venezuelans would be paying the Cubans wages, when Eustace enquired in parliament of Gonsalves about the payment, he was told they hadn’t paid yet but they would.

    Eventually when Gonsalves realised he had been shafted he changed the story. Now either what he originally told was a lie, both in and out of parliament, or they changed their minds and refused to pay.

    I sent them emails laying out that they should pay and why, they chose to ignore me.

    Whichever way it happened it was Gonsalves fault, he should pay up personally. Because as one of the regions top attorneys’ he should know better than to take someone such as the Venezuelans at their word, he should of had a written contract. He is a liar or an incompetent Pratt, one of the two.

  5. PATRICK, we have never been told the Iranians haven’t paid the US$7 million, I will send them and email and ask them if they sent it or not.

    I remember seeing somewhere that because they had banking sanctions against them they were using Cuban and Venezuelan banks. That is one of the reasons I have asked on numerous occasions about our bank account in Cuba, how is that audited?

    You see Mr Ferarri you misquoted them when you called them towel, the word is pampa.

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