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Government touts “[significant] reduction of our debt” in debt-for-conservation swap; ex-A.G. says talks were not advanced

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Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2021. 3:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The former Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte said his Government never seriously considered proposals to swap national debt for conservation purposes – at least none involving the ratification of the New York Arbitration Convention which passed today.

Peyrefitte reiterated what he  said earlier in the Senate debate to reporters afterward – that text messages revealed by Leader of Government Business Eamon Courtenay represented preliminary discussions at best.

But the new administration is taking it significantly further.

Courtenay said after the meeting that the negotiations underway at the moment were for “a reduction of our debt.”

Asked how much, he replied, “Significant,” though he declined to name a ball park figure.

Belize’s total national debt stands at around 4.2 billion dollars, of which $1.3 billion is domestically owed (Treasury Bills, Bonds and so on) and the rest to foreign creditors.

More to come.

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