When the Cabinet meets Wednesday morning, discussions will be held on the possibility of declaring CARICOM Day a public holiday in Antigua and Barbuda
CARICOM member states have been asked to consider making July 4 a holiday in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the regional integration movement.
St Kitts and Nevis and Grenada have already declared that day a public holiday
However, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has his reservations about the request but told State Media Monday that he would bring the matter to the Cabinet to be further discussed.
“We have not decided to that effect. Truth be told, we have had so many public holidays. Our calendar is replete with public holidays and it is always difficult to add more holidays”,
“This is no disrespect or contempt or lack of commitment to CARICOM if we decide not to, it is just a matter of not exacerbating an already difficult situation in which we already have too many public holidays
Browne believes that adding another public holiday to the list that already exists will affect the productivity of the country
“We will consider it but I am not very hopeful we would want to add another holiday at this point…There may be a case for a one-off restoration but again I cannot say that I am extremely hopeful that this would happen”, he added
CARICOM Day was once a holiday in Antigua and Barbuda but was discontinued because of its negative impact on productivity.
Browne’s regional counterpart, Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit also has his reservations about declaring July 4th a public holiday.
He said Dominica is unlikely to declare that day as a public holiday but claimed that he would discuss it with the public sector there.