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Sep 14, 2015

Close to One Hundred Million Dollars to be Paid as Part of Settlement

Dean Barrow

The settlement of B.T.L. comes on the heels of the settlement for the nationalization of the other utility company, Belize Electricity Limited.  But unlike B.E.L., there were numerous issues outstanding between government and the Ashcroft group of companies including an arbitration award. Part of the settlement involves a loan which has now ballooned to close to one hundred million dollars.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Both BCB and Dunkeld provoked the arbitration provisions under the Bilateral Investment Treaty.  We sought and obtained from the Supreme Court in Belize an injunction preventing them from going to arbitration on the basis that we had provided for compensation under the law, allowing us to nationalize and they should in fact try to find their remedy in the local courts.  We had first succeeded but ultimately that ended up itself at the CCJ and the CCJ said no, they are perfectly entitled to as it were two strings in their bow and you can’t stop them from going to arbitration and if the arbitration award comes before you can get a compensation determination under the local law provided that law is even upheld, you will have to satisfy the arbitration awards.  On that basis arbitration proceedings were held in Costa Rica sometime last year and the arbitration panel that the CCJ had told us we must respect and whose judgment we must recognize, the arbitration panel found that we had to in fact pay the BCB loan, not just in the principal amount but together with the interest under the loan and costs.  That interest within the loan terms provided for a twelve percent annual rate but in the event of default it became sixteen percent.  Since we hadn’t paid that was deemed by the arbitrators to have constituted default and so the sixteen percent interest rate ran.”

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1 Response for “Close to One Hundred Million Dollars to be Paid as Part of Settlement”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    The working people of Belize will have to pay for this “manufactured” mess. The Pibil eating class that make up Petrocaribe sponsored trips to Corozal will certainly not pick up the tab. The Barrows, the Youngs, and the UDP creole elite walk off with our hard earn money and leave us with a huge tab. Ashcroft gets his compensation. The only losers are those who belong to the hard-working tax base. This is likely Aschroft’s pay off to stay out of the next general elections.

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