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Sep 15, 2020

Opposition Leader Says PM is to Blame for Economic Struggles

John Briceño

During the months of April to June 2020 the economy shrunk twenty-three percent. It is the largest quarterly decline seen and the contraction was the result of the COVID-19. The economic downturn is still being felt across sectors even as the national debt continues to mount from loans from international financial institutions for relief to weather the pandemic.   Leader of the People’s United Party, John Briceño, says that COVID-19 revealed PM Barrow’s inability to address the economic needs of the people.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I think the Prime Minister he needs to look in the mirror to see who is the architect of the hardships that we are going through at the moment. COVID 19, you know when the little kid said the emperor has no clothes, well COVID-19 just disrobed the government to point all the deficiencies, all that has gone wrong under the U.D.P. government. It was a government with no economic plan. They had no idea of what they were doing. And that is why we are where we are today.  When it comes to the banking industry, everything is on the table. We will sit-down with the banking industry and take a look at what is taking place. We will work close with the banks to see how is it that we can provide more relief to the people who have borrowed from the bank. I think that the Prime Minister should take the blame for where we are with the Superbond because he had the right opportunity right now to be able to restructure the debt, the Superbond debt, right now. The bondholders recognize that countries all across the world, their economies have shrunk. In the case of Belize, it has shrunk by twenty three according to Central Bank’s figures. So, he lost an opportunity. But I can tell you that the new PUP government, we are going to sit down with these bondholders and we’re going to tell them we have to renegotiate. We have to restructure and we will be looking at a haircut. I said it at the last House Meeting when they presented the bill. I said but why did we not go for a haircut but I think that the Prime Minister doesn’t want to take the problems, or the trouble, and is just kicking the can down the road because he knows that the next government is going to be P.U.P. government and probably he’s not doing anything to make easier for us.”


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