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Jun 22, 2017

Belize Will Go its Own Way

Dean Barrow

The annual assessment by the IMF seeks to forestall future financial problems that member countries may face; however, its conditions have been broadly debated.  It is argued that the IMF’s policy prescriptions present standardized remedies that are not sufficiently tailored to each country’s individual circumstances.  So where does PM Barrow stand on criticisms that his government has never subscribed to recommendations of the IMF?

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now PM, one would look at your legacy as leader of the Government of Belize since 2008 as one where we could say despite some of the recommendations that have been put forward by the IMF, in terms of our economic state of affairs, that your government has never really followed any of these prescriptions or recommendations.  How would you respond to such a criticism?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well I don’t know that that is a criticism.  I would consider that, in fact, a compliment that Belize has been able to avoid getting into what some people might describe as the clutches of the IMF, in terms of any formal program and we’ve been able to go our own way successfully.  There are some current hurdles, there was the economic downturn last year.  There are the liabilities that we have to deal with and these have, in fact ratcheted up our debt so that our debt to GDP ratio is not where we want it to be but we have taken our own measures, as witnessed at the last budget presentation.  The economy is already on the rebound and I am absolutely certain that we can in fact find our way out of these temporary difficulties relatively easily and certainly most successfully.  Look, you can’t, I don’t see how austerity can get you out of a recession.  It doesn’t make sense.  It’s a contradiction in turns.  If you’re going to get out of a recession, you can’t do that by cutting spending absolutely by simply preaching and practicing this doctrine of having no flesh on the bone of the body politics.  So we, as I said, will continue to recognize the IMF as an extremely important global institution and always treat with them on the basis of respect and equality and dignity.  But we will continue to go our own way.”

 

We will have more from PM Barrow elsewhere in our newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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