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Breaking News / Business / Featured / News / Top Stories / Travel / Virgin Islands / March 10, 2019

A list of blacklisted nations put together by the European Commission, which claimed that the nations posed a threat because of poor controls on terrorism financing and money laundering, has been rejected by European member states. The U.S. Virgin Islands was added to the list in 2018.

According to the Associated Press, European Union member states have unanimously rejected the list proposed by the commission, contending in a joint statement that the proposal “was not established in a transparent and resilient process.”

The commission will now have to put together a new list that takes the concerns of member states into consideration, according to the AP.  Member states had previously voiced their concerns individually, with the United Kingdom being particularly troubled with the addition of Saudi Arabia to the list. And the addition of the U.S. territories, among the U.S.V.I., Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico, had drawn the ire of the United States government, the AP said. The U.S. Virgin Islands was first added to the list in 2018.

Governor Albert Bryan welcomed the news and said his administration had worked with the U.S. Department of Treasury in ensuring the territory’s removal from the now-defunct list.

“I am pleased to announce the territory is officially off the European Commission’s blacklist. We have worked closely with the Treasury Department and our legal team in Washington to have the E.U. Members reverse the declaration of the EC. Blacklisting the territory hampers our efforts to keep and attract foreign investment and erodes confidence in our banking system,” he said, according to a Government House release.

Mr. Bryan added, “The placement of the U.S. territories on the blacklist made no sense since the US as a whole was not placed on the list, and the Territories use US currency, tax systems, tax treaties, banking, corporate laws, and courts the same as all states. We are pleased that the Department of Treasury, at the Territories’ request, undertook aggressive actions to get EU Members to reverse the blacklisting.”

The now-useless list included Afghanistan, American Samoa, the Bahamas, Botswana, North Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saudi Arabia, Panama, and Yemen.

Along with exacting damage to the reputation of countries, if the list was adopted, it would have made financial relations for those countries with the EU more complicated.

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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