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May 29, 2008

Briceño says Barrow talks sweet, but promises remain unkept

Story PictureWhile Prime Minister Barrow charmed a congenial crowd with his combination of candor and confidence, his performance was not without its critics. Opposition leader John Briceño told News Five’s Stewart Krohn that beneath the glitter of Barrow’s delivery lies a serious lack of substance.

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition
“We all recognise that mister Barrow, the Prime Minister, Prime Minister Barrow, has good skills dealing with the media and even in the House. From time to time that skill gets him into trouble but if you were to listen today to the Prime Minister, you would believe that everything is rosy in Belize and everything is not rosy. We are going through one of the most difficult periods in history of Belize from the issues of the economy to the issues of crime, social problems and the list can go on. What we have seen today unfortunately, that the Barrow administration has no real plan as to how we’re going to address these problems that are confronting the nation of Belize. When you listen to what the Prime minister told the country at his first House meeting in the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan, he did not tell people that we’re going to try to find a way how we can help; he said that this government will lower the cost of electricity and he was very clear about it. And he already knew, we already knew what was happening in the world market when it comes to oil, that the prices were going up and up and he knew that this was going to come to the government; this problem. So again, it shows that he hasn’t really thought out the problem. I believe that this problem is beyond party politics, beyond just the government of the day. I think it’s a problem that needs to be addressed, not only by the government, but by the opposition, by the private sector, the N.G.O.s. I think we need to come as a group together to address some of these issues because what we’re finding out, the Prime Minister is really presenting is basically band-aid solutions or temporary solutions to the problems that are facing this country. Belize is in a good position that we are one of the few countries in this region and in the Caribbean that grows all its grains; its corn, its beans, its rice, its meat, poultry beef and the list can go on. I believe that that’s an opportunity that is available to us at this time.”

Briceño criticized Barrow for failing to support the productive sector and its ability to expand food exports to neighbouring countries. He also pointed to a failure of overall vision and coordination between various ministries, citing the lack of a comprehensive policy on energy.

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