Looking for a bail-out, Belize turns to Venezuela
Friday, 05 May 2006
By Ann-Marie Williams - News Editor
Minister of Home Affairs Ralph Fonseca is travelling toVenezuela in South America this weekend to broker a deal for a U.S.$25 million loan from the government of Hugo Chavez.
The loan, expected to be at concessionary rates, is needed urgently to meet repayment deadlines.
Reliable reports reaching Reporter say the money is to pay principal and interest on some $270 million worth of debt for this year.
Belize’s national debt today stands at over $2 billion Bze. Meanwhile, inspectors from the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund are all in Belize this week for consultations.
The I.M.F. which has given the Musa government strict guidelines for reduction of the national debt, is here to do its assessment of the government performance in reducing the deficit.
The I.M.F. assessment is regarded as crucial for I.D.B. approval of a policy-based bail-out loan.
Reliable reports say GOB has brought down the national debt from 7.5% to 3.9%, falling short of its target by about one percent.