Barrow Promises No Stand-By Arrangements with I.M.F.
According to the Prime Minister, the involvement of the I.M.F., as a condition of the proposal being approved, is nothing earth-shattering since government meets with the financial agency annually to review Belize’s economic performance.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“People don’t seem to understand that we have agreed that if we don’t meet certain targets we will consult with I.M.F. That takes the matter no further, we consult with I.M.F. every year. Every year as a member there is an Article Four consultation and a staff visit, so there are two visits per year. We’ve said if we don’t meet the targets, you Mister I.M.F. can analyze why you think we haven’t and suggest to us what we might do to meet the targets the following year. Again, they do that every year. Every year they come and they say, you haven’t met this target, you haven’t met that target and they suggest what ought to be done to meet the targets the following year. I’m not suggesting that we will simply ignore whatever advice the I.M.F. will choose to give. All I am telling you is that our agreement in the context of this last renegotiation that we will publish what the I.M.F. says, that we will consult with them represents not an iota, not one wit of change from what currently obtains. So basically we’ve given up nothing in terms of what was the original demand of the creditor committee that we enter into an I.M.F. standby arrangement, which is what I have sworn to the Belizean people will never happen for as long as I am here.”