The Belize Progressive Party says that the Government should nationalize the Belize Bank and brand Michael Ashcroft as a persona non grata. The BPP summoned the media this morning to cement its position regarding the ninety point six million dollar UHS debt owed to the Belize Bank Limited. Last month the Caribbean Court of Justice ruled that GOB must pay the debt to Belize Bank using the Consolidated Revenue Fund. When the Belize Bank services the loan note to the Government, then the process to take the matter before parliament will commence. An appropriation bill will be proposed and parliamentarians will vote on whether or not the debt will be paid. BPP Leader Patrick Rogers says Government should honor the CCJ ruling but take over the Belize Bank Limited.
Patrick Rogers – Leader of BPP
“Now what we should have been doing is to pay him and then go after his bank because if I were in Mr.Barrow’s shoes I guarantee you Belize Bank would have been nationalised from the first time they brought scrutiny on this country when they correspondent banking issue first arose- two banks First Caribbean and Belize Bank were the two banks that were culpable that brought this country a whole lot of black eyes because of the correspondent banking agreements- right then and there was the opportune time if Mr.Barrow was really at war with Mr.Ashcroft to nationalize that bank because that bank is what made that man all his billions if that is what he has gotten from this country. That bank, not BTL, that bank so if you are at war with Mr. Ashcroft pay the $90 million and when the Prime Minister in his wisdom says we ‘will not pay it’ well the bank doesn’t want to collect the principal you know- the bank’s business is to collect interest. So that is probably Belize Bank’s best performing item on its portfolio fetching 17% annually compounded monthly. So every year we go without paying we can expect another amount of millions added to this thing until its paid. So I’m saying let’s pay this thing, let’s try and negotiate something with him for a haircut on the interest, we will pay the principal but work out something with that interest and then have him help us identify those members in government and in the private sector that were culpable.”
When the appropriation bill is brought to the House of Representatives, a division will be called, requesting that each area representative either vote ‘yes’, ‘no’ or abstain from voting.