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On June 1st, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the legal battles and mounting legal costs in relation to the disputes over the Barrow Administration’s 2015 settlement agreement with the Ashcroft Alliance over the Government’s takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited had not come to an end. Barrow confirmed reports that Ashcroft group was challenging the amount which the Government will be paying them as legal cost compensation and so the parties would head to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Today Opposition Leader Hon. John Briceno decried the heavy costing which the entire fiasco has been to the country.

Screen_Shot_2017-06-06_at_8.01.20_PMHonourable John Briceno – Opposition Leader PUP

“It seems that all of the money that from the final 75 million dollars is going to be used to pay the expenses of Lord Ashcroft, I can remember when the Prime Minister was saying that during the negotiations that it was fast and furious but now we are finding out that it is fast and furious and foolish and stupid, because any attorney that is worth will tell you in these negotiations your cap, your expenses the Prime Minister in his haze for a third term signed a blank check to Lord Ashcroft and then decided that once the arbitrator would come up with the final figure that they were going to pay 50% within ten days of that final ruling and then one year later they are going to pay the balance, today we are finding out the true facts that it has been heads Belize loose, tails Belize loose and this is all because of the hubris and the arrogance of the Prime Minister and the United Democratic Party government.”

Briceno also expressed concern that further payments to the tune of millions of dollars could have damaging effects to Belize’s economy.

Honourable John Briceno – Opposition Leader PUP  

“This is a crisis that a lot of Belizeans have not realized that is coming upon us, up to last year before the first payment the Prime Minister was boasting that they had over 400 million dollars in reserves but now here today by the time we make this last payment we are going to be paying over US275 million dollars and that leaves us under US200 million dollars; our productive sector  they are not exporting as much as they did and we have not reached the peak for the need of US dollars which is going to be happening around august, September and October as merchants start to ramp up their orders for the Christmas season so it can cause a serious problems for us, we will see that there is going to be a serious shortage of US dollars and that can very well lead to a devaluation if it continues with the foolish decisions that the UDP government has been making and we ned to hold the Prime Minister responsible for this.”

Ahead of what would be a surprise early elections called in November, the Barrow Administration chose to give up on its six-year long legal confrontation with the Ashcroft Alliance and settle on an agreement in September 2015. The Opposition pointing out that the decision was a political one to prepare for the elections, but a costly one since it has cost Belize over $500 million and counting.

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