18 May 2009

European Commission cancels 2009 Fiji sugar payment

12:13 pm on 18 May 2009

The European Commission has cancelled Fiji's 2009 sugar allocation, a move that will cost the country more than 32 million US dollars.

In a statement, the EC says it has has taken the decision to cancel the allocation in the absence of any indication that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009.

The Commission says it would have made 32 millions dollars worth of sugar reform accompanying measure available, subject to a legitimate government being in place in accordance with EU Council decision of October 2007.

The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, says he encourages the Government of Fiji to fulfil its commitments to the EU so that is is able to reinstate sugar reform payments in the future.

In 2007, Fiji's military leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, had promised to hold elections by March of this year but he now says elections won't be held before 2014.