26 Sep

French Ambassador denies “blacklist”

first_img Share 14 Views   one comment Tweet Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img LocalNews French Ambassador denies “blacklist” by: – May 30, 2013 A French official has denied reports indicating that his government added seventeen countries, including two Caribbean countries; Dominica and Trinidad, to a blacklist.According to a report by Trinidad Express, French Ambassador Jacques Sturm said on Tuesday 28th May that there was no “blacklist”. “What you have heard about is a list that comes from the France Development Bank (AFD). It is [a] working list for banking procedures. It is not an official list of the French government,” he said.Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is a financial institution and the main implementing agency for France’s official development assistance to developing countries and overseas territories. AFD is owned by a partnership comprising banks, development agencies, NGOs, Local and Regional Authority, UN and other key institutions. AFD operates in more than 70 countries.It finances projects, programs and studies through grants, loans, guarantee funds and debt reduction-development contracts and provides capacity development support to its partners in developing countries.“I deny that it is a blacklist,” Mr Sturm further stated. He admitted however that the French Government does have an official blacklist “which does not concern this issue”. Asked whether the AFD bank was totally independent of the Government, Mr Sturm said the bank had a “certain independence. And when it takes measures on a working basis, it does not imply that the Government agrees. It is a development bank working with development countries on development projects,” he said.He said the bank would refrain from using the banks of the countries on the “working list” in terms of its development funding.Ambassador Sturm also indicated there were many lists. Some lists applied to banking secrets, others to fiscal regime, others to cooperation between fiscal administrations. The lists were very specific, he said, adding that one should be careful about branding these working lists with a broad brush.Aides to development minister Pascal Canfin said on Monday that the country had blacklisted seventeen countries for failing to help investigate foreign aid fraud.The aim they said is primarily preventative, to put pressure on these countries by publicizing this list to progress towards more transparency citing their failure to help investigate foreign aid fraudPrime Minister and Finance Minister Roosevelt Skerrit expressed “shock and surprise” at the news since his government had not received any official communication from the French Government and learned of the decision through the media.He also indicated his intention to write to the French Embassy seeking clarification on the issue.Dominica Vibes News Sharelast_img

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