24 Aug 2009

Academic says EU sanctions on Fiji not most effective

10:32 am on 24 August 2009

A Singapore-based academic says the European Union may be targetting the wrong industry in its sanctions against Fiji, rendering them ineffective.

In May, the European Commission cancelled about US$32 million worth of sugar funding, saying it took the decision in the absence of any sign that a legitimate government will be in place in 2009.

Dr Clara Portela, an assistant professor of political science at Singapore Management University, says with the sugar industry already struggling, that may not be the most appropriate course of action.

"To me this is the main drawback of the strategy followed by the EU. It is targetting an indusrty in which it is very powerful., which is not necessarily the wrong target, but it is not necessarily the best possible target."

Clara Portela says the EU may have more impact supporting New Zealand and Australia's call for the UN to stop using Fji soldiers.