PM: Ten per cent of loan stock still delinquent

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne has reminded the public that the economy of Antigua & Barbuda is still vulnerable due to a block of delinquent loans incurred years ago, under the former administration.
Browne made the disclosure during a tense interview on OBSERVER media’s Snakepit programme which was conducted live in Barbuda on Saturday.
“We have a block of loans called the Paris Club loans that are delinquent up to today. In all fairness to the [United Progressive Party] they inherited those loans from the former labour party administration,” Browne said.
“Even though we have done well, I don’t want the people of Antigua & Barbuda to think that the economy and its overall fiscal health is not vulnerable. The truth is that we have about 10 per cent of the loans stock that is delinquent,” he said.
At the time of making the statement, he was defending against the assertion that his administration was earning more and was in a better financial position than any administration which preceded his own.
He argued that the economy was so “vulnerable” that the “[International Monetary Fund] has been pushing my government back into an IMF programme”.
He said, “We said that under no circumstance would my government go back into an IMF programme.”

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