#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: EU won't impose trade sanctions on Fiji

Sunday, October 4, 2009

EU won't impose trade sanctions on Fiji

The European Union's Director for Development and Relations with the Pacific Roger Moore says the EU will not consider a trade sanction on Fiji because in his experience it doesn't work.

Roger Moore was interviewed on Television NZ's Q n A programme this morning.

He told the show's host, Paul Holmes he has just returned from Fiji where he met with interim government reps and political party leaders.

Moore says he was supposed to meet with Frank Bainimarama as well last Wednesday but couldn't because of the chaos after the tsunami which struck Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

Moore said he told the interim government reps that they needed to set in place an internal political dialogue in order to discuss reforms that Bainimarama was determined to push through.

"Because the strange thing is I have talked myself to political leaders in Fiji and all of them agree strangely enough on the substance of the reforms which are necessary in that country."

"The problem everybody has is just the way the prime minister is going about it."

He said nobody wanted to support Bainimarama's reforms, but wanted to support Fiji's reforms.

"It's the reforms wanted by the people of Fiji that we're ready to support, there's a coincidence between the two."

In response to Paul Holmes question of the European Union extending it's sanctions on Fiji while it continues to buy sugar from Fiji, Moore said the EU did not have any quarrel with Fiji.

"We have a contractual position for providing aid and the aid goes to the government is in breach of an agreement that we have with them so we can't deliver that aid."

Paul Holmes asked Moore if the EU should consider stopping European countries from buying sugar from Fiji, especially since the price of sugar is the highest at the moment but Moore disagreed.

"I've never seen trade sanctions deliver a satisfactory result."

Moore said the EU withholding aid to Fiji was not a sanction but a non delivery of a gift which Fiji breached by not having respect for human rights and democracy.


mark manning said...

An odd response, when you consider that it was sanctions which brought South Africa's Government to it's knees and finally destroyed apartheid.
Albeit at great expense and suffering to the local population.

Sweet Tooth said...

Paul Holmes needs to do his homework carefully before he asks leading questions. The sugar grown in Fiji is grown by ordinary Fijians. It is ordinary Fijians who have continuously been short-changed by the conspicuous absence of proper governance. Despite this, their efforts to keep 'heads above water' continue. Of course reforms are required. They were required almost two decades ago when the EU was told by then British PM Margaret Thatcher that sugar did not need to be purchased at inflated/subsidised prices from the ACP countries while Europe had some of largest sugar producing factories in the globe (from sugar beet). EU taxpayers were being unfairly burdened, she maintained. Fiji failed to reform and failed to 'read the runes'. Why? It was led at the time by inept politicians who refused to listen to the then prevailing wisdom. Politicians of all stripes abused and exploited the sugar industry for their own purposes. So, why would the EU choose to deliberately penalise those who were so badly taken advantage of? This is why democracy demands 'eternal vigilance' of all who would subscribe to it. This eternal vigilance was sorely lacking in Fiji: no one cared to encourage it. Its absence was too convenient by far for some. They made hay while they could. A more foolish occupation could hardly be imagined while the world sugar producers .....moved on (Brazil, Australia, India and Mauritius): leaving Fiji flailing and behind.

Sweet Tooth said...

@ mark manning

Well, good for you Mr Manning! You most obviously do not live HERE, in Fiji, where it matters?

mark manning said...

Sweet tooth
I'm unclear what your not saying !
I live in Sydney, but think sanctions, though unpleasant at 1st. will, in the long run, help bring an end to this Regime and a return to Democracy.
The matter of good governance, is for Fijians to sort out, honesty and integrity as much as good management, seem to be lacking in Fiji, I'm guessing ?
On a lighter note :-

Anonymous said...

@mark manning

Not interested in 'lighter notes' when those who are not on the ground propose trade and other sanctions to hurt and disadvantage the poor and the innocent (if ignorant). Get up here and be here if you wish to propose trade sanctions (or indeed any other kind of sanction - they are all redundant and irrelevant). Those who choose to prescribe - should take their medicines themselves! Do I really mean this? Yes, I most certainly do!! As for honesty and integrity - there are many in Fiji who possess both. But the likes of the 'mark mannings of the world' would never take the necessary time or effort to find this for themselves. Pontificating and advocating from afar.....so much more satisfying, is it not?

Sour Tooth said...

Now that one is aware that it is Roger Moore speaking (Not 007 or The Saint - though he might yet prove to be so?), one understands more fully why commonsense is coming through. The mark mannings of the world who seem to have decided that we, many of us at least, "have no honesty and integrity" cannot be allowed to prevail. Can they? Roger Moore will by now have understood that reforms are imperative. Who conducts these reforms must be a leader of some muscle. Now, moral muscle or physical muscle? Perhaps BOTH. These reforms have been begging to be done for years and years. No politician that I know of has subscribed or even come close to wanting or even understanding them. Of course not. They benefitted from the 'status quo'. And they refused to see beyond the end of their noses. Like many politicians everywhere, they refused to be visionary or innovative. Their insight was next to nil and they did not possess sufficient humility to ask for advice (nil consultation). So, where do we begin - again? Not by enforcing sanctions - THAT IS SELF EVIDENT, is it not?

mark manning said...

As I said, I'm only guessing !
But I get my information from you guys, many on the blog sites have said that the Qarase government was corrupt, as was Mara and his siblings, Frank and Co. Teleni and the Military Council, the Church Ministers, the Chiefs and many many others have been accused by fellow Fijians.
The truth is however, that Frank Bainimarama and Co. have committed High Treason, yet no evidence to date against Mr. Qarase has been found.
While Fijians continue to play the blame game and others sell their soles to the highest bidder, fiji will continue toward the precipice.
If there's another earth quake in the region, it could well be a literal one.

mark manning said...

Actually, it's James, James Bond, not Roger Moore.

patrick said...

At last. A sensible man who recognizes the truths of the day. One. Sanctions do not work. No Mark. Sanctions did not bring down apartheid. The people of South African brought down apartheid.
Two. There is a consensus in Fiji that there must be reforms. The time for teeth-gnashing, calling names and abusive blogging is over. Time to talk.
Three.It's Baimimarama the politicians don't like. They like what he says. They just don't like him or his "way of doing things". So the dissent in Fiji is a personal hatred. Nothing principled about it.
Ho hum. Since he is not going anywhere, maybe its time to set aside our personal feelings and start talking to him? For Fiji's sake.

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning, you've got one tamani hide to sit in Sydney smugly advocating punitive courses of action that impoverish ordinary people in Fiji.

I don't know what benefit this is to you or what satisfaction you get from being a willing stooge of the SDL and your own government.

If you think sanctions are going to bring down Frank Bainimarama you don't understand the first thing about Fiji and its traditional "retreat to the villages" mentality.

In any event, sanctions haven't dislodged Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe even though he's trashed a once prosperous nation and has the blood of 30,000 Matabeles on his hands.

You're entitled to your opinions, Mark, but just try to think for a moment how you'd feel as a poor tenanted farmer in Fiji, who these sanctions would hurt the most.

It's hard enough for them to make ends meet right now without being the ultimate victim of policies that history shows invariably miss their intended targets among the elite.

Anonymous said...

I think that you lot are missing the point altogether. The ban has to be in place to force this Govt to go to the polls so that the people can think for themselves. Not Frank and the likes of him thinking for them (the people).

If you allow all the aids to continue and the grants to flow then you are all facilitating this regime to continue unabated its dictatorial attitude and totally forget what the grassroots of this country think.

A simple example is the Pub Emergency Decree. This is a dictatorial piece of law designed to shut the people up and show the world that all is well when it is not!

Wake up people! The brainwashing is continuing and the comments from you people who support the lifting of the bans shows that it is working.

Anonymous said...

@ M&M.

Take heart - know your hitting nerves when they start attacking you personally (playing the man - not the ball - shooting messengers etc).

But as they say in Hollywood - "can print anything they want just as long as they spell the name right".

Judging by the recent flurry of non de plume's they've still got a long way to go? Ni moce.

siti said...

Umm Anonymous? Is that your real name or a nom de plume? if the latter, let the pot not call the kettle black!

Anonymous said...

M & M.

See how good you've got it - call me a kitchen utensil.
Ni Moce.
Annon. Y. Mous.

Anonymous said...

sanctions would only punish the people of Fiji..what good is that?

mark manning said...

ok, so we have differing views on what is the best approach to help bring about an end to this treasonous rabble, without hurting the ordinary Fijians.
Sadly, no one thought of that when they supported Frank and Co. while all was going well !
so how do you overcome the poverty now and when should you start.
But please, don't ask me to give my taxes to support you, when you have created the mess yourselves.
I object to my taxers supporting a bunch of criminals, pretending to support the ordinary Fijians.
Wake up and smell the roses people, Frank and Co. only care about themselves !
And you can't do anything about it yourselves, because it's a dictatorship !

Anonymous said...

It can't be a gift when Fiji has to pay it back.

Roger Moore must be thinking that we in Fiji do not know exactly what the EU is trying to do dangling a $500 million in our eyes.

You can take your $500 million and shove it down where the sund don't shine. We in Fiji do not need it.

Anonymous said...

Kai - when somebody offers $500 mil
in these tough economic times you take it - or as Alan Bond once said
"When you owe a bank $50,000 you've got a problem - when you owe
them $500 million - they've got a problem".