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PM: “Ruling will not Add to the National Debt”

Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained to the nation that the US $78 million that it was ordered to pay by the Caribbean Court of Justice before or on November 10, has been set aside. The Prime Minister shared that since they already knew the total amount that would be paid; this ruling will not add to the national debt nor put pressure on Belize’s foreign reserves. Barrow did express disappointment with regards to the amount of money that will be going to the BTL Employee Trust for charitable projects.  But his disappointment does not change the fact that in its ruling, the CCJ criticized the Accommodation Agreement negotiation by the Government and Lord Michael Ashcroft. Yesterday PM Barrow accepted blame for how the Accommodation Agreement was drafted.

Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

“I don’t know that there’s ever such a thing as a perfect draft agreement that is why there are always court cases in consequence of disputes over the meanings of language in various agreements but to the extent that there may be obvious boners in terms of this particular agreement and the particular wording. If I missed some, as you call it laconic then I will be perfectly prepared to engage in a mea culpa. It turns out that these people were able to get away with much more than I anticipated they would have been able to get away with when this agreement was drafted; then they have won and to the extent that I was the person trying to make sure that they would not have gotten away with as much as they did get away with I will accept responsibility.”

Meanwhile, the People’s United Party issued a statement in which is condemned the Government for signing what it described as a ‘one-sided Settlement Agreement’. The PUP said quote, “This is an absolute disaster for Belize and it is now clear that the Prime Minister misled Belizeans about the supposed advantages of this deal.” End of quote.