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Oct 20, 2017

Telemedia C.E.O. makes big money!

Later, when the bill was brought up for debate on the second reading, Opposition Leader Briceño landed a telling blow when he brought up the extensive salary and benefit package for C.E.O. of Belize Telemedia Limited Rochus Schreiber. With the departures of top senior Belizean officials from the company in recent years – former C.E.O. Anwar Barrow and Karen Bevans among them – most of the top leadership positions are filled by non-Belizeans. Schreiber collects more than four hundred thousand Belize dollars in yearly salary alone, as revealed by Briceño. Other benefits take his gross collection to close to three quarters of a million Belize dollars, with barely six months on the job. But Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that does not reflect at all on the state-run company or its plans.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

John Briceno

“Somebody from B.T.L. sent me – it has to do with that, yes; it has to do with this. Because it has to do with the thirty-five million dollars that they are trying to borrow. Gave me a copy of the contract for the salary for the C.E.O. of B.T.L. Do you have an idea how much this man is collecting, Madam Speaker. This man is collecting two hundred ten thousand U.S. dollars, not Belize dollars; that’s four hundred and twenty thousand dollars per year. Not finished there; he gets six thousand U.S. for telephone; four thousand two hundred for Internet; twenty thousand U.S. for transportation; twenty-seven thousand U.S. for housing allowance; two thousand five hundred…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“(Over Briceno) Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker, on a point of order.”

 

John Briceño

“Why don’t you want to speak about this? (Applause and cheers) Because it has to do with us, it is our company!”

 

Dean Barrow

“On a point of order, Madam Speaker: I don’t know what the C.E.O. of B.T.L. is making, so I would be in no position to answer you. But what on earth does that have to do with the Bill, which is to amend the International Banking Act so that – it doesn’t call B.T.L. by name although I’ve said that B.T.L. is one of the beneficiaries – to allow these companies to be able to borrow from international banks? What on earth does what he is raising have to do with that?”

 

Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the House

“Just a minute Honorable Opposition Leader; we understand your presentation but kindly bring it closer to the matter at hand.”

 

John Briceño

“This has everything to do with the Bill. Why? Because the Prime Minister said that he is amending this Bill so that B.T.L. can borrow money; and B.T.L. belongs to us! And how can the Prime Minister… (Applause) We are the largest shareholder and the Prime Minister is telling me he doesn’t know how much the C.E.O. of B.T.L. is getting? Madam Speaker, when you tally what this man is getting – he is getting three hundred and eighty-six thousand and sixty-seven dollars, U.S. dollars, Madam Speaker! Over seven hundred thousand [Belize] dollars this man is collecting!”

 

Laura Longsworth

“Honorable Opposition Leader, Thank you, we want to get to the substance of the Bill, please.”

 

John Briceño

“This is the substance Madam Speaker!”

 

Laura Longsworth

“No, please get back to the amendment.”

John Briceño

“It has to do with B.T.L.; they are creaming us at B.T.L.! And we won’t talk about the other things yet; I’m only talking about this right now.”

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