Accommodation Agreement compensation won’t go to Ashcroft

Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow yesterday said the accommodation agreement portion of the final BTL arbitration award totaling 114.6 million dollars is not to go to the former shareholders. Instead, it will be paid in Belize dollars and is to remain and be spent in Belize. According to the award, the money quote “shall be applied in accordance with such requests for grants as the government may reasonably make to fund projects to help the people of Belize” end quote. Government is expecting those projects to supplement infrastructure projects and offset the reduction in Petro Caribe flows. But how will the money be administered? The prime minister says first they have to pay it and thereafter, whenever they have requests for projects, they will require consent from Dunkeld. According to existing regulations, quote “such consent not be unreasonably withheld” quote. We hear from the Prime Minister:

Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize

“In terms of the modalities I would imagine that as soon as the money is deposited we will have a meeting with the administrators of vlcsnap-2016-07-01-17h23m14s231the trust. We want to look in terms of our own project execution unit and the Cabinet to come up with the series of projects that we will wish to propose. There after we will discuss that with the trust and I hope and believe that there will not be any difficulty in reaching an agreement. While those were listed as the sorts of projects that we want to undertake it works for the benefit of the people of Belize. I don’t expect that we will have too much difficulty. Recollect that we are only paying half now and the second half will not be due for a year. Within that first year before the second half is due we will surely have had opportunity to judge how well this thing works.”

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