PRIME Minister Allen Chastanet says he remains convinced that the economic policies being pursued by his seven- month-old administration to help stimulate the economy will bear fruit for the island.
However he maintains that the road to a turnaround in the economic fortunes remains long and arduous.
“We have seen for ourselves that the country is broke. How do I know that? When the fact is that you are only spending a million dollars on road rehabilitation, on maintenance, a million dollars on maintaining hospitals; a million dollars on training in the civil service- so you have over 12,000 employees, just imagine that, and you are spending a million dollars a year on training them,” Chastanet told reporters.
He said this is a sign that the island is facing financial problems.
“The fact is that we continue to run a deficit,” Chastanet said, adding that there was need to change around the country’s fortunes and ensuring that money is invested in better areas.
The Prime Minister said he is very encouraged by the number of foreign as well as local investors who are willing to ‘stand up’ now and ‘make things happen.’
He said that some “big meetings” are planned for this week regarding the $US2.6 billion Desert Star Holdings Limited (DSH) project, south of here.
“We have been finalizing the deals and the terms with several other investments in the south,” Chastanet said, adding that his administration is continuing to pursue a partner for the airport project and financing for the re-development of the capital.
According to Chastanet, the government has had some very good meetings on the redevelopment project, noting “we are very much on pace with what we want to achieve”.
He told reporters that he is more convinced every day that the strategy of his administration is the right one even as he responded to concerns by a “group of concerned citizens” regarding the DSH project.
The protestors, who have since received support from the main opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), claim that the project would not be beneficial to the population and also destroy the environment.