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Nov 8, 2017

G.O.B. Gets Ducks in a Row to Pay B.T.L. Compensation

The Government of Belize says it has the money. But tonight, the question is whether it will meet the November tenth deadline for final payment of compensation for the double nationalization of B.T.L.  Financial Secretary Joseph Waight confirmed today that payment had not yet been made, and said he expected that it would be done this Thursday and in any case, certainly on or before the deadline. When that happens, it means the value of the nationalization of Telemedia would cost taxpayers more than half a billion Belize dollars.  The Caribbean Court of Justice, one week ago tonight, ordered the payments made to Dunkeld International Investments and the B.T.L. Employees’ Trust despite government requesting adjustments in the payments on the basis of the Accommodation Agreement being unlawful in their view. So what is the delay, since Prime Minister Dean Barrow had indicated that the money was ready and available? Waight explained that the government has been using the time stipulated by the C.C.J. to line up the funding in a single account to be paid.

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“It has not been made; the order from the Caribbean Court [of Justice] was that the payment should be made on or before Friday the tenth, and the payment will be made on or before Friday the tenth. It will not be made today; possibly tomorrow.  We were given nine days or ten days to pay; usually you have money set aside in deposits – some are twenty-four-hour deposits, some are one-week deposits; I am not quite sure how the Central Bank invests its money. But it’s not idle; you have to move money, you have to serve notice, so it will take a few days to mobilize and put the money readily available and that’s what they were doing. And the court did allow some time to do that; you can’t – for Belize, for that level of money, you can’t pull it in one day; you have to sort of sweep the money into one account and then pay it.”

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