Prime Minister Freundel Stuart????

In light of the economic turbulence being experienced in Europe and North America, where protests and other forms of demonstrations have now become the norm, Barbados continues to hold its own.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart reiterated the island’s capability to weather the economic storm during a press briefing last Saturday, while reacting to the recent downgrade of the island’s domestic currency by international rating agency Moodys.?? It was held in the Grace Adams Suite at the Grantley Adams International Airport, on his return from a nine day official visit to China.

Emphasising that the world was going through its worst recession in 100 years, the Prime Minister cited the examples of the severe impact which the recession had on Greece, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain.

"If in the context of all of that, Barbados is downgraded by one of two rating agencies, I do not think that that is an occasion for alarm.?? If Barbados had been downgraded in normal times, and I don’t want it to be said that I said that it is not an occasion for alarm, … the occasion for alarm is within the context of all that is going on in the world. ??

"If Barbados had been downgraded under very normal economic circumstances… in a very average economic context, I would have to do some serious introspection and ask where it is we went wrong.?? But, in the context of a country that has no natural resources and even countries that have natural resources have problems.?? So, If Barbados is downgraded in the context of trying to keep its public sector employed, maintaining an acceptable level of government services for delivery to the public, keeping a low-income housing project going and providing affordable health care, if in that context we suffer a downgrade, I do not think that we have a lot to be ashamed about," Mr. Stuart surmised.

He gave the assurance that government would keep its" gaze fixed on surrounding realities and make the appropriate adjustments where necessary. Barbados is holding its own," he asserted.


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