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While Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has described the proposals as “the mildest adjustments” to achieve putting the bonds on a sustainable basis, there’s been no official reaction from the Government to the Committee’s rejection of their proposal. Undoubtedly, the news isn’t good.

But while GOB is keeping mum about eh situation, Opposition Leader John Briceno isn’t. We spoke to him this afternoon and he told us why he isn’t all that surprised at the news.

Screen_Shot_2017-01-17_at_6.56.26_PMHonourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“We are not surprised that this was rejected outright by the bondholders we knew that was going to happen because the UDP has a poor track record when it comes to keeping up with tis commitments, when they renegotiated the new UDP Super-bond they made several commitments (1) that they were going to increase taxes, (2) that they were going to reduce the wage bill (3) that they were going to control government borrowings, that they were going to reduce 67% GDP and (4) that they were going to come up with an economic plan, the UDP government failed miserably all four commitments therefore I am not surprised that it was rejected.  I think that the problem with the UDP government is that they have no economic plan, what they presented to the Bond Holders was wishful thinking, it was nothing that was carefully thought out or worked out, I have been saying it from 2008, the UDP has no economic plan, and because of that lack of not having that economic plan this country under the United Democratic Party government things are so much worst off today than what they were in 2008.”

Government’s inability to meet its next Superbond payment due on February 20th would mean that it defaults on its debt. In January 2013 when it renegotiated the Superbond, the Government had agreed to pay a significant penalty if it ever defaults again. A default would also further threaten our peg to the U.S. dollar and result in a whole range of detrimental consequences to the economy. Briceno, as a businessman, is fully aware of those repercussions and he spoke on a range of issues including why he wants the Government to succeed and not default.

Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“I am very concerned that the UDP now will try to play chicken, which blink first, we or the bond holders because if we were to default there will be an immediate increase into what we owe the bondholders, I think it is going to go about 11% more, that in effect is going to be over a hundred million dollars Belize that we will have to pay and when you are making that kind of gamble because some people are saying that there are people within the UDP government say let renegotiate because certain people can make huge fees, millions of dollars of fees, so because they want to make some extra money in this renegotiation that they are going to put the entire countries economy at risk and I am very concern about, we have to ensure that we don’t default, we have to ensure that the government comes with an incredible plan, they have to have a credible plan so that they can be listen to or be taken seriously but we have no such thing, the UDP what they presented is wishful thinking with no plan as to how they are going to implement, how are they going to raise revenues, how are they going to grow the economy, how are they going to curtail the expenditures that there been, we know that there been hiring more and more people, in many instances people that we don’t need but because of their party affiliation they’ve been given a job.”


“Has the opposition been asked to participate in any of the input on the situation or anything at all on your behalf?”


Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“No, it is unfortunate that the UDP has decided that they don’t want out input, that they will ignore and reject whatever help we can give, I’ve been saying it over and over from the time that I was elected as the Leader of the People’s United Party last year that when it comes to Belize we are prepared to work with any government because for us Belize comes first and if we can help in any way we would be more than happy to do so, we have people with the expertise, we have people with experience and the ability to get things done.”


“Is there anything that you would think off the bat that you would do personally if you would be in the Prime Minister’s situation at the moment?”

Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party

“First of all we would not be in this situation, if we would have been in government the first things we know that you have to do is to be able to work with the Private sector, work with the productive sector, see how we could expand the economy because it is not the government that runs an economy it is the private sector, it is the productive sector, we know that the productive sector is going through some difficult times, our exports have fallen since last year actually when you compare what our exports were in 2008 when you compare to 2016 is going to be less we are exporting less, over the past almost nine years under the UDP government so I don’t think we would be in such situation we will be working with the private sector we will be working with the productive sector we would be creating more opportunities and bringing more investors and investments into the country work with the investors in Belize giving them the opportunity so that they can invest in Belize and they can make things better we as we said we want a Belize that works for everyone.”

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