Chastanet says: ”I’m a regionalist.”

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has declared that he is a regionalist, while asserting that comments he made to the just ended Caricom summit in Guyana did not prove otherwise.

“I have made it very clear that I am a regionalist who very much wants to see Caricom work,” Chastanet told reporters today.

He said he thinks he shares the opinion of a lot of the other Caricom leaders that they need to move on with integration.

“If we are not going to move on with integration we have to put our resources to the greatest benefit of the citizens of our country,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister asserted.

In his maiden address to the Caricom summit in Guyana, Chastanet had urged the regional grouping to deliver on a better way of life to the people of its member states.

Chastanet, the newest head of government in Caricom, cited the need for the community to find immediate cost-effective solutions in delivering good governance.

He had asserted that more of the services like the police, education, health care and aviation must be integrated.

“More of our policies and structures that are languishing need to be reviewed or discarded so that new and more effective ones can be put in place,” the Saint Lucia leader declared.

He told colleague leaders that the excuse that progress is hampered by consensus is no longer convincing or acceptable.

Chastanet, who had promised to shake up the regional airline LIAT, explained the need for competition.

“The changes we can effect is by bringing competition in and solving the transportation problem,” Chastanet explained.

He disclosed that he is in very close dialogue with some of the countries in the region.

“I want to be fair to the shareholders of LIAT at the same time,” he said, adding that he did not want to make any public pronouncements before having talks with the shareholders first.

However the former Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister asserted that LIAT is an important issue.

“I think it is impeding integration in the region; I think it is a constraint to economic growth and a constraint to our region being more competitive on a global basis,” Chastanet said.