(WINN): Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has reiterated his disdain for economic citizenship programmes being operated by some member states of the OECS.
Dr Gonsalves in his latest comment on the matter emphasised that his country’s citizenship not be for sale.
However, regional broadcaster, Vincentian Jerry George, told WINN FM that Prime Minister Gonsalves’ position on the matter is hypocritical.
“You cannot have it both ways, and that is the problem I have in our region.
“The people get up on one stand and make these statements, and then you see what they are doing. There is no official programme in St Vincent of citizenship by investment but the Prime Minister (Gonsalves) feels he has a right to give passports to whom he wants to give passports to”.
George further told the St Kitts Media; “how different is that? In fact because of that approach we do not have a clue as to who has Vincentian passports. So yes, you go out front and say, I have a problem with it officially, but you do it covertly. Does it make it any different?”
Also lending voice to the ongoing saga of CIP was Former SKN Prime Denzil Douglas who denies that the CIP represents the selling of citizenship.
“The country’s citizenship for St Kitts and Nevis is not for sale. As we continue to say to my former colleague then, the St Kitts programme was an economic development agenda. It was an investment plan that invited persons to invest in the country; no one was actually selling the passport”.
Gonsalves said he is not buying that explanation and contends that citizenship is too precious to be used as a bargaining tool.
“When people tell me I can make much money from it, there are lots of things you can earn money from which you would not necessarily get engaged in. However, as I say, I am not criticising any of my brothers in the other countries who want to go there, that is their right, we agree to disagree on this one.”
George is supportive of regional states having economic citizenship programmes.