11 Mar 2009

Ousted Fiji PM says coup a long term blow to the local economy

4:12 pm on 11 March 2009

Fiji's ousted Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, says the December 2006 coup did not administer a short-term shock to the economy, but a blow that will hurt the country for many years.

Mr Qarase has criticised the interim Prime Minister saying that he is attempting to argue that the coup only created a short term shock and that Fiji's present woes are caused almost exclusively by the international market upheavals and recent natural disaster.

He told Fiji Live that the interim PM and most of his advisers had difficulty understanding that coups and unelected governments were bad for business.

Mr Qarase said the financial situation had certainly been made worse by the world economic crisis and the floods, but there is no way the Interim Prime Minister can evade the consequences of the coup.

Mr Qarase says the international situation has nothing to do with the contraction of the economy by 6.6 per cent in 2007.