#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: EU firm on Fiji

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

EU firm on Fiji

The European Union has not decided to extend its consultations with Fiji's interim regime for another six months until March 2010 as reported by Fiji Television last week and hailed as the regime's acceptance by the Information Permanent Secretary Neumi Leweni.

Under the EU's previous decisions, the regime must by the end of October this year, adhere to most commitments made to the EU in April 2007, as well as agree to the Forum and Commonwealth timetable for elections by October 2010.

The October 2010 timetable has been flatly rejected by the regime with leader Frank Bainimarama insisting that financial and economic reforms will be pursued by his regime in the next three years with work on a new Constitution starting in September 2012.

Sources have confirmed to Coupfourpointfive the contents of the letter reported on Fiji TV last week was a draft letter sent to EU Member States on what the EU should do about Fiji.

The letter contains two proposals, including whether to extend the deadline beyond October or remain steadfast to the deadline, which would mean Fiji forfeiting the entire $350 million assistance earmarked for the ailing sugar industry.

According to the sources, a decision on the matter will only be made by the EU after the expiry of the October deadline. They say as it stands, and in accordance with the official EU position, Fiji stands to lose the entire package. So far $172 million in financial assistance has not been released by the EU.

Sources say the regime is succeeding in spreading mis-information because of is stranglehold on the media through censorship.