Tonight, the question is: will Belize go into default of its debt obligation on the stepped up US-dollar bond. The first payment, under the stepped-up eight and a half percent interest rate was due today; but as announced last week by the Prime Minister, government does not now have the twenty three million US dollars to make that coupon payment. Some analysts, speaking with international media outlets believe that the announcement that Belize will not make the coupon payment brings the country closer to a formal default on its five hundred and forty four million US dollar foreign debt. In the absence of today’s non-payment, there are further doubts that the Barrow administration will make any major efforts to make payment during the ensuing thirty day grace period. According to the Associated Press, the Barrow administration has offered bondholders a harsh restructuring proposal that would imply reductions in the amount owed, lower interest rates or extended repayment terms. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is scheduled to address the issue during a press conference scheduled for later this week in Belize City.
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