IMF discussions went well – PM Mottley

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley says discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington have gone well and a team from the international lending institution is due to arrive here early next month to continue talks.

The Prime Minister, who led a four-member Barbados delegation to Washington Wednesday evening for talks with the IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, returned to the island early this morning and held a press conference at her Bay Street offices this afternoon.

Ms Mottley said Barbados is seeking a one per cent interest payment arrangement on any loan from the IMF.

“I want to make sure that even as we treat to the issue of debt restructuring that no future generation of Barbadians or this current generation, will have to go back to this place again . . . of a government display of utter fiscal recklessness with the manner in which they handled the affairs of the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the island’s arrears are closer to $1.9 billion, as new debts are discovered, weeks after she led her Barbados Labour Party to a 30-0 victory at the polls.

She cited a lease payment of $3.8 million due for the Sanitation Services Authority “for an unoccupied building”.

But the Prime Minister is assuring the country that her administration is equipped to get Barbados out of the current mess.

She noted that while it usually takes about nine months to reach an agreement with the IMF, she is hopeful that Barbados will not have to wait that long.

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