Outgoing German envoy praises reforms

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Outgoing German envoy praises reforms

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:55 pm

Outgoing German envoy praises reforms - 03.06.2009

The German ambassador to Seychelles, Walter Lindner, yesterday called on President James Michel and Vice-President Joseph Belmont at State House as part of his farewell visit here.

Mr Lindner, who was accredited as his country’s 10th ambassador in April 2006, said he has been impressed by the level of development that has taken place and with the way the country has handled various difficult situations.

Commenting on the difficult but brave reform programme that President Michel announced in November last year, he said the country has made good progress since then.

Mr Lindner paying his farewell call on President Michel yesterday at State House

“Six months later, great success can be observed with inflation not as high as anybody expected, foreign reserves better than expected and people seeming to understand that the reform was necessary,” he said.

“It was not possible to maintain a welfare system for years without doing some kind of reform. You have to adapt to globalised growth, and that’s what the government has done. It was a very important step and I am happy that the country did it.”

Mr Lindner said, after discussing the issue with Mr Michel and Mr Belmont, he believes the government has done a good job in explaining the reforms to the population. Already some benefits have been reaped, particularly the debt cut by the Paris Club.

He pointed out that government investment in the tankers that have been built in Germany was a wise one.

These are a big source of foreign currency income for Seychelles and are also environmentally friendly tankers that are a symbol of green technology. He said he is proud of his country’s contribution to the project.

Commenting on the drop in the more than 20,000 German tourists who visit our shores each year, Mr Lindner said he reassured Mr Belmont that the decline due to the economic recession is not as bad as in other countries like Kenya.

He said he is certain the situation will improve by the end of the year, and his country will continue to help promote Seychelles as a good holiday destination for tourists.

Concerning the serious piracy problem, he said Germany – as part of the European Union’s Atalanta operation – is well prepared to fight the pirates.

He has reassured Mr Michel that Germany will also be ready to help the authorities deal with the issue in any other way it can.

Mr Lindner said his term in office has been marked by the “opening of the country”. He said he had observed the presidential elections in 2006 and all that happened afterwards, including the rejection of the media law, riots near parliament on October 3 the same year and had seen how the country had come out stronger.

He said today all the people he talked to believe things are now being done with more transparency and more as they should be in a democracy.

He said opposition members are no longer criticising the course the government has taken, because they were the ones who were asking for the reforms.

Yesterday afternoon Mr Lindner called on the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Wavel Ramkalawan. He leaves the country at the weekend.



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