The opposition People’s United Party says they, as a responsible opposition, are glad that a settlement has been reached with Fortis as it relates to BEL but frown upon the government’s tactics. In a release issued today the party states, quote, “The utterly reckless, cynical and misguided policies of the present administration have added to the cause of our nation’s indebtedness and fiscal fragility by increasing debt, and refusing, until now to deal with the seizure of assets by major investors,” unquote.
The PUP goes back to 2011 when government seized Fortis’ assets in BEL and when the Prime Minister had “harsh words” for the investor and BEL management at the time and now, as it did then, has employed “bullying tactics” to gain its objectives. The Prime Minister says the PUP is now forced to walk back his wrongful actions in 2011 when he quote, “using his parliamentary super-majority subverted the Constitution of Belize, bending its architecture in a violent and unnatural manner, in gross and indecent haste, in an ill-conceived, poorly structured move to undermine Fortis as an investor,” unquote.
Fast track to 2015, the PM is doing the very same adds the PUP release as the settlement was quote, “discussed at a Monday Cabinet meeting, announced in the afternoon, draft legislation was provided on Tuesday. He will force 3 readings and passage in the House on Wednesday, approval of the Senate on Friday morning, and assent by the Governor General, and gazetting in the same afternoon. That is less than 96 hours to “make a deal”. On Monday next, the payment of $70 million will be made,” unquote. It is a “great crisis” goes on the PUP in its release as it comes at a high cost to Belizeans who “will continue to pay, well into the future, past the point where Fortis is compensated”. The PUP states the government quote, “owes it to Belizeans to immediately and fully disclose the real cost of the seizure of BEL, and the settlement arrived at, in real terms - including all the legal costs which have been paid to all attorneys who have worked in behalf of BEL/GOB and in particular, Barrow & Co. Is this deal good for the Belizean people? How have we felt any benefit? What has been conceded to Fortis including serious tax breaks for life?” those are the questions that the P.U.P are asking to be answered.
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