On Friday we told you about the loan of 12 million dollars that Santander Sugar Mill may be receiving from the Social Security Board. The multi-million dollar loan that was approved last week brought about many questions and concerns and today at the swearing in of the new leader of the opposition in Belmopan, the media took the opportunity to ask the Honorable John Briceno to weigh in on the matter. Briceno says that the has three main concerns when it relates to this matter

johnHonorable John Briceno- Leader of the People's United Party

“Just want to make three points: one is that we always support foreign direct investments, the Santander Group has made a massive investment in Belize and we need to recognize that and support that and by extension that investment that they have done has already created a lot of jobs and can bring in more foreign currency into our country so I want to make that clear but secondly when it comes to the loan of Social Security for 12 million dollars to the Santander Group, the first thing that comes to mind is that how secure is that loan we have to make sure that we can protect workers money because this 12 million dollars belongs to all of us that pays Social Security and we need to ensure that it is properly protected, that there are assets that they are going to guarantee that loan that God forbids that something go wrong that that 12 million dollars is properly secured and that workers do not lose a cent of their hard earned money but thirdly I think that it makes me wonder what is the policy of the government if you can recall a few years ago when BSI was under a crisis and they had a cash flow problem, the Belize Cane Farmers Association they were looking very seriously into the possibility for the cane farmers to form a group to be able to buy over BSI or the controlling shares of BSI and they brought in some experts from Mexico and Central America to look at the factory to look at a valuation and they came up with a business model on how they can pay for this.”

Briceno is to meet with the Chairman of the Social Security Board to discuss the loan and bring up his concerns in the matter.

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