Caribbean Report 23-11-1992



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00-00:29)
2. British House of Lords is this evening debating Caribbean affairs. In an historic session, peers are presenting arguments on a number of important issues relating to the region. These include the future of special access for Caribbean bananas in Europe and British policy to the region. The debate was opened by Baroness Young, former Minister for Overseas Development (00:30-02:59)
3. Caribbean’s future prospects depend on what decisions are made on bananas in Europe over the next few weeks. Today, in Brussels, the question of whether the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) countries will retain preferential access for their bananas in Europe was at the top of the agenda of a crucial meeting of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers. Interview with Peter Gakunu (03:00-05:23)
4. Bananas and what happens to them when the single market comes into effect is a concern before Caribbean producers. Today, in Brussels, the European Banana Producers Association urged the European Community to adopt before the end of the year, a decision on the setting up of a common market organization for bananas and to take effective and fair transitional measures, pending its application (05:24-06:01)
5. One country that is not waiting idly for the axe to fall on Caribbean bananas is St. Lucia. Fearing the worst, St. Lucia appears to be preparing its banana farmers for the eventual loss of its special access to the European Community market. Should this happen there are those who believe tourism is well poised to take the bananas place. Among them is the Chairman of the St. Lucia Tourist Board, Steve McNamara. St. Lucia’s Director of Tourism Allen Chastanet says it will require adjustment by banana farmers, diversification being a main consideration (08:23-06:02)
6. Another place in the region where the threat to bananas is being taken seriously is Martinique. Today, in the capital city of Fort de France, several hundred people occupied the runway at the Lamentin International Airport to demand compensation for losses on banana sales in France due to competition from African producers. As a result of the demonstration, four cruise ships were diverted from Martinique, docking instead at Castries St. Lucia (08:24-09:08)
7. Britain’s most illustrious football team Liverpool is having one of its worst seasons on record. Many commentaries believe the reason is simple – the absence of the former footballer of the year, Jamaican born John Barnes from the team because of injury. He returned to the team today after a five-month absence (09:09-09:51)
8. Back to debate in the House of Lords – Lord Glenconner, who has extensive business interest in the region used his maiden speech to issue a dark warning on saving the banana industry in the Caribbean (09:52-11:11)
9. Hugh Crosskill reports from the House of Lords on the debate on the Caribbean. Other topics are Caribbean marginalization, Caribbean unification and lamenting the rejection of the CARICOM Community (11:12-14:37)