Major Recession Hurting Belizean Economy
Briceño’s premise hinges on the fact that the owners of the bond have put in place stringent conditions that, should government fail to pay the interest, taxpayers will be saddled with additional penalties. All things considered, the state of the economy, when factored into the existing predicament, also paints a rather gloomy picture. Briceño maintains that the country is in the throes of a major recession.
John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader
“In effect, what the bondholders did to the prime minister and his negotiators in 2012 they put such onerous terms that should there be a default that nobody in their right minds would want to have a default and the bondholders are holding on to this knowing that the government, should they default, that this is what they are going to confront us [with]. So I think that there may be a little bit of wiggle room as the prime minister has hinted, for them to call for a little small victory, but we would have to look at the details. As they said, the devil is in the details.”
“All of this revolves around the issue of the present state of Belize’s economy. It has been described as a mild recession but a recession nonetheless, and the consequences of which are very real. What are your thoughts going into the 2017 budget presentation and the subsequent debate that will be held based on that particular presentation?”
“There is no such thing as a mild recession when you can’t find a job or when you have lost your job because the economy has been contracted. The prime minister is very good with using beautiful words and trying to paint a bad picture pretty. The sad reality is that we are not in a mild recession; we are in a major recession. The economy has contacted, the productive sector is on its knees, investor confidence is at its lowest. There’s a lot of liquidity in the Central Bank. The government continues to print money through the Central Bank to be able to pay their, to meet their payroll to keep the government running. So for the prime minister to talk about a mild recession, I think it’s almost like a slap in the face of Belizeans that are suffering through this difficult time right now.”