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Jun 18, 2020

John Briceño Says G.O.B. Kicking the Can Down the Road

John Briceño

Opposition Leader John Briceño also criticized the government’s move to request from bondholders to defer and capitalize the August interest payment of the superbond.  If the bondholders agree to the capitalization, the interest payment will be added to the principal which in a way means that the total amount of interest owed on a long-term asset or loan balance since the last payment. A press release from the Central Bank of Belize said that the measure has become necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on Belize’s economy with a collapsed tourism industry which accounts for approximately sixty percent of Belize foreign exchange earnings. Briceño says that the Prime Minister is simply kicking the pan down the street and adding more to the country’s debt.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Basically what the government is saying, alright I can’t pay the interest, capitalized it. So we are going to be now owing, I think it is about twelve million that they are due to pay, so now that m means that we are going to pay what the bonds are worth plus twelve million dollars more. So they are not doing for us in Belize. I think they are just kicking the can down the road. I think this was a time when they could have sat down with the bondholders and tell the bondholders, listen we don’t have the money. We are in a crisis. The entire planet is in a crisis. We just don’t have the money. I think it would have been a great time, a great opportunity that they could have sat down and negotiate with the bondholders. Most of the people that own those bonds did not pay as what they call a dollar for a dollar. They basically paid about fifty cents on every dollars on those bonds. So he could have pushed to get a cut on what is outstanding on the bond and could have save millions of dollars on behalf of the people of Belize.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you believe that the bondholders would be understanding? Business is business.”

 

John Briceño  

“They are never going to be understanding but that is why you negotiate and you negotiate hard and if you negotiate smartly. I think that you can succeed and you will be able to save some money on behalf of the people of Belize.”


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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