Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

There are persons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines trying to undermine the negotiations of the government with cruise lines regarding the repatriation of Vincentian sailors and oil rig workers, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says.

“… there are persons who want to undermine the government’s negotiating position. They are sending things to cruise lines, telling them that the government must pay for this thing,” Gonsalves said on WE FM on Sunday.

“And those who ain’t sending, they writing it up all about so that the cruise lines are seeing, believing that people are bringing pressure on Ralph so that Ralph would cave in and just bring them willy-nilly. But I wouldn’t cave in.

“We have to do this thing properly…” the prime minister said, adding, “…  you know me, you know when I give you my word I want to see them, our nationals come back but it has to be done properly.”

The government has been locked in negotiations with the cruise lines over the past few weeks.

The government had detailed terms and conditions for the repatriation of Vincentians sailors, including a certificate of health indicating their COVID-19 status.

Further, the employers of the sailors or oil rig workers must pay the government EC$150 per day for 14 to 21 days for the quarantine of the sailors at hotels or guesthouses.

But some persons have questioned the government’s approach, saying that after the return of the sailors to SVG, they should become the responsibility of the state.

They further said that the repatriation of the sailors should not be further delayed by the government’s demands.

Gonsalves said:

“And we can’t be so unpatriotic to try and undermine your own government in relation to some people who don’t want to take up their responsibilities, some people, meaning maybe some people inside of cruise lines.

“I will have more to say about all of this thing. You notice I have a lot of answers and a lot of things to see about some of this stuff which is going on.

“But I will say them at the appropriate time when people will make a determination as to what kind of leadership they want for the next five years for this country but the argument is not for now.”

He said that some persons have even criticised the frequency with which he has been commenting on the issue.

“I see some opportunists even writing –It has been drawn to my attention — that I talking too much. The Prime Minister of this country must talk on this thing every day, if necessary, and it is necessary. I can’t leave people in any state of uncertainty. I have to bring clarity to the matter,” Gonsalves said.

He added that the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache and the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Roger Duncan are talking about the technical matters. 

8 replies on “Critics trying to derail talks with cruise lines – PM”

  1. What an absolute disgrace to be conducting such negotiations over a matter that anyone with half a mind can see is totally wrong.

    What on earth is wrong with you comrade, wake up and do the right thing. Stop trying to make wrong right.

    You are putting the future employment of 300 people at risk. We already have to many people sitting on walls with nothing to do. You are supposed to be making and protecting jobs not destroying them. These people in some cases are supporting their Vincentian families, and even extended families.

    Please stop this silliness right now, the 300 deserve better treatment, and SVG deserves better from you.

    1. Hashtag Prince says:

      I second that. ….AMEN!!!!

      Comrade, Stop all the chit ‘n chatter and bring home the children of the soil.

      By the time you done save up all the smart talk, people will not want to hear you.

      I hope they take whatever you plan to hand out and share out and then give you the mandate to retire.

      Power of the (X)….it’s coming Comrade.

  2. Nathan “jolly” Green you just full of pure talks and really do not understand negotiations. Yes I agreed that they are Vincentian and I am in total agreement that they should returned to the state. But there is a process. For now they are the sole responsibility of their employers who I am told are willing to repatriate them but repatriation is not all to it, the whole process also includes quarantining for 14 days which should also be the responsibility of their employers. Until their employment is terminated, they are the responsibility of their employers. I am sure that there were agreements drawn up when they were contracted. It will be interesting to see and know what their terms and conditions of their employment were. Please leave the process let it takes it course and stop been a political stool pigeon. The responsibility of government are those who are away on government business to include students studying abroad. Let’s say for argument sake that every Vincentian living in the diaspora wants to return home because of this pandemic, are you saying it’s the responsibility of government to take care of everything where those people are concerned?

  3. This silliness is you with your mustard seed brain, give some ideas if you have any or shut the hell up.

  4. The company already stop employing Caribbean people so I guess with the PM pressure that’s it for vincy sailors.

  5. I know a hotelier that was looking for $150 USD not EC. $150 a night EC, would not even cover cost of food,labor, and utilities per day to put these people up and open up their rooms for them.So not sure where this lowball figure came from. Where in svg can anyone stay for that price with meals included?

  6. It has turned out that he was hiding the fact that the number of sailors may well be 2000. His butt must be squelching every step he takes.

    He must be absolutely $%!tting himself. The situation the country is in is the responsibility of him and his son, they are the only two Ministers of Finance we have had during his reign, its they who have helped us to have debts approaching two billion dollars.

  7. Mr.Green I was thinking the way you are thinking. Comrade Gonsalves should not be myopic, he have to think off the lively hood of the 300 sea fearers in the future. PM Gonsalves might be standing on very strong negotiating feet, and maybe he can succeed, but at what cost to the 300 seamen and women and others would like to work on tourist Liners in the future. I sincerely hope this matter will be resolved soon, the the Vincentian return home as soon as possible.

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