When the Prime Minister returned home last week, he told Love News that should the initial ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the BTL issue, it could be deemed as a victory for Belize since the Ashcroft Alliance was valuing each share at ten dollars while the courts have estimated it at fifty percent of the proposed ten dollars. Opposition Leader, John Briceno who has been condemning the entire matter since last week, says that it is not a victory for Belize.
“Maybe it may be a victory for him because it is not costing him but it is costing all of us, the taxpayers of this country. How can you claim victory when you are paying millions and millions of dollars in interest payments because of your arrogance, because of you refusing to go to the negotiating table to settle on a price. Because of that, Honorable Kareem Musa pointed it out in the house; over twenty million dollars have been spent in lawyer fees. It doesn’t matter who collected those twenty million plus dollars but the point is that over twenty million dollars have been spent on lawyer fees. The twenty million dollar US loan that BTL got from the British Caribbean Bank again when the government acquired BTL, they said that they are acquiring that loan also then turn around to say that they will refuse to pay it because that loan is an illegal loan. How can it be an illegal loan when you got the money. So now they went through that process and they lost that case; forty million Belize has turned out to be almost one hundred million dollars that we have to pay and the Prime Minister is saying No, it is not BTL that is going to pay for it, it is we the Belizean people that will pay. In any company if you are making those sorts of decisions you would be fired on the spot for costing the company tens of millions of dollars. We have wasted millions and millions of dollars because of this foolishness from the government and monies that can be used for young people in sports for education, for our infrastructure, that is needed to help people in agriculture. For example in the North last year, because of the drought, our farmers lost thirty million dollars. We got twenty thousand dollars from that forty four point seven million dollars that they spent just before election. Twenty thousand dollars. Instead of spending/investing that money in the private sector, we’ve been wasting it because of the folly of a government; or the Belizean government.”
The final ruling from the Permanent Council of Arbitration remains pending.