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Jan 5, 2018

U.D.P. Turns the Tables on Former Administration

Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister indicated that there will be at least a month’s grace period to the next House meeting when the debate takes place. In that time, the interest continues to accrue. But apart from the legal arguments, the moral question is a much easier one for the Prime Minister to respond to: in short, he won’t pay! Since it is more complicated than that, there is still a door open for potentially settling the matter to the satisfaction of all. But that will not be easy, according to the Prime Minister.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I was trying to set out the legal position and I was careful to enter the reservation that is, by my lights and the opinions I have received. I will not be restrained at all in terms of morals; if it is a moral thing, parliament would be obliged not to pay if you are talking from the moral aspect of things. So I believe if you want to be at all kind to the Bank, let’s stay away from the moral question. Legally, I think they are on firmer ground when they say, look, it is a judgment; the government is supposed to satisfy such a judgment, and then we get into the question of the parliamentary backstop and control over public finances.”

 

Reporter

“The P.U.P. says that now that it has time, it will try and find solutions for the Belizean people; the Leader of the Opposition said that just now. So it seems like perhaps, maybe, they would want to approach some way that it can be paid off – you ask for terms. Would you be minded to some rational, ordered outcome like that?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I’m not going to slam the door shut on anything. But this is a huge amount of money, and I don’t know what sorts of terms could really soften the blow, that’s number one. And number two, if ingenuity could come up with such terms, the Michael Ashcroft I know would not accept them. But the Opposition, I think, is welcome to try and should be encouraged to try; after all, it’s their mess.”

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