Antigua holding talks with the IMF should it require funding to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne (file photo).

Antigua and Barbuda is holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the island explores its options in the event that it should require funding to deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Gaston Browne, said however that his administration has already made it clear to the Washington-based financial institution that Antigua and Barbuda would want to introduce “our own home-grown programme, but to get their funding just in case we end up in a situation in which everything comes to a halt because of the protracted situation with COVID.”

Browne said that while his government has not yet decided on entering into any programme with the IMF, but if the island had to be based on the homegrown policies rather than a one size fit all approach.

“We have indicated to the IMF that the short term funding or the medium-term funding that they normally offer that will not work for us,” he said, adding “ we will need at least 14 to 15 years.

“I think that they are showing a willingness to support that majority transformation. As you know interest rate is one per cent. We have also said to them there will be no retrenchment, there is no push back against that,” Browne said.

Browne also made reference to the island’s debt to the Paris Club which authorities here has said has been a hindrance to acquire funding.

“We have also said to them that there should be no pre-condition for us to repay the Paris Club  We want the opportunity to negotiate with the Paris Club a partial reduction in the debt which is about US$160 million.

“In essence, there is no push back against our position. I think our request has been met with good support, but against as we said to them we are just literally exploring options at this point, just in case we find ourselves in a situation in which we have to pursue a programme,” Browne said.

Last month, the government said it had established a Cabinet Sub-Committee to help source funding as the island continues to be seriously impacted by the pandemic.

A government statement said that the virus “has had a terrible impact on revenue, reducing the same by more than 40 per cent.”

According to the statement, “many borrowing sources have been fully exhausted, locally, and moratoria granted by local banks to the Government will soon come to an end.”

It said the government was informed by the Ministry of Finance officials “until such time as the revenue situation improves, the days ahead will be extremely challenging” and that a Cabinet Sub-Committee was formed “for the purpose of examining various options.

The government has already announced an end to many of the concessions granted to existing businesses, including hotels,

Cabinet repeated its earlier-announced policy of ending duty-free concessions on automobiles, earth-moving equipment, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles entering Antigua and Barbuda.

In April, Prime Minister Browne warned nationals that his administration is “struggling on a monthly basis to meet salaries and wages.”

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47 COMMENTS

  1. The headline must be a mistake. Gaston talking to the hatred IMF? The IMF that the UPP took a loan from at about 1.5 % interest. That Gaston Browne and his old renegades and minions assassinated the UPP for doing. Now he is talking to the IMF.I remembered the scene from the Movie down at Sandals. It would now appear the lady predictions are coming to fruition. That you Gaston Browne would be crawling on your gut/stomach a begging,my words. Getting a loan from the IMF is not a death sentence. As you had your supporters believing. Many Countries around the world have borrowed from the IMF to survived their financial crisis. Antigua and Barbuda is a member State of the IMF.Gaston Browne: Let your words be short and sweet.Just in case you have to eat them.Big differences between eating honey and BILE.

  2. Again. His opinion. He thinks Antigua’s position has been met with good support. If they go the IMF route. Time will tell what the conditions are for the amount borrowed. A borrower is going to dictate to a lender under what conditions they have to lend the money for. Who he think he’s talking too? Those synapses in that cranium not fully developed.

  3. While Gaston is preparing for the Worse Case Scenario, the UPP is Praying for the Worse Case Scenario. Cause that will make their day. I can see the headlines in the various media houses and Lovell graining from cheek to cheek, Gaston gone to the IMF.
    Well let’s wait and see.

    • Please bring to mind all the things that you said about Harold. Remember how unkind you were to Harold. Think about what you learnt at Sunday School.

    • FROM THE SIDELINE you are the one out front preparing the spin if Gaston and the government indeed approach the IMF for assistance. I do not have to remind you of the criticism that has come from Gaston and Weston about going to the IMF. In fact it was Weston’s position that when you go to the IMF it is a sign that you are a failed State. I really do not believe I will live long enough to see Gaston and the ALP go to the IMF. Gaston is too proud a TOP DAWG to be eating his own vomit. I await the comments of BEEF in particular and then TENMAN, JUST SAYING, CARSON B, PETE, FREDERIC LAMPTON and PHILLIP G to name a few. Gaston has to be joking about the possibility of approaching the IMF. I don’t believe it. That is impossible in Max Hurst and the ALP playbook.

    • FROM THE SIDELINE you and your cohorts are great spinners. If their was a Nobel Prize for Spinning you and your group would get it. Anyway, I await all the spinning and rationalization and justification and counter factual analysis if and when Gaston decides to go begging for mercy to the IMF. Please don’t get me wrong (I also studied economics), the IMF was set up as one of the Bretton Woods agencies to help countries out of fiscal, foreign exchange reserves and other financial difficulties. The problem with Gaston and the ALP resorting to such help is because they are on record cussing hell out of the IMF and swearing they would never used them. So FROM THE SIDELINE if Gaston resorting to the IMF is blasted from Macneish and Boggy Peak mountains all over the island, and if every newspaper and radio station make headline of it, THEY WOULD BE DAMN RIGHT TO DO SO.

  4. Remember when he insulted the woman from the IMF down Dickenson Bay and what she said to him, “I hope you don’t come back” well it seem the top dawg has to swallow his vomit and return to the IMF cap in hand.

    One of the condition for any loan, should be they have to publish the article 4 reports, this government has been hiding from the public.

  5. CRAWL, GASTON CRAWL. CRAWL WITH YOUR YELLOW BELLY SCRAPING THE GROUND.
    CRAWL YOU COWARD. CRAWL YOU HYPOCRITE, CRAWL YOU FOOL.

  6. The IMF 1% loan was paid off by the ALP with a 8% loan. We are in good hands, PM Gaston Brown is a financial wiz

    • @juju+beard: Gaston Browne did say. He was going to borrow Antigua and Barbuda out of Debt. Go figure out that one. Could that be one of the reasons. He is running now to the IMF. Trying to secured low interests loans.To pay off those 8% interests loans you mentioned.

  7. JJJ he owes the whole Nation an apology and he should be on his knees crying and begging for forgiveness.

    • @ CHARLES TABOR

      Hon. Gaston Browne is throwing BAIT and UPP is eating. Hon. Gaston Browne will not go to IMF. This is just to have the UPP talking. By the way if the Country needs money it does Not matter where it comes from as long as it is LEGAL. Tabor ….Hon. Gaston Browne knows how to stir the UPP pot.

      • ERIC (THE RED) so you, Gaston and the ALP thought that IMF money was illegal? The point is Gaston has criticized, cussed out and berated the IMF in the past and swore that under no circumstances would he ever go to the IMF for assistance. You can ask BEEF and MAX HURST about it. I say that it is shameful that Gaston is now talking about the IMF as a life boat for his sinking ship. You say he will not go. Let us wait and see.

  8. ” My passport not for sale” ABLP in opposition (ABLP against CIP )
    ” The CIP is a blessing to Antigua ” The ABLP in government

    ” IMF are bloodsuckers” , The ABLP in opposition
    (At Sandals, Gaston told the lady where she should put it – ABLP in government )

    ” We are having talks with the IMF” – Beg beg Gaston

    • ABLP BUNCH OF LIARS you could not have stated the issue of the hypocrisy of Gaston and the ALP more succinctly and more compelling. Congratulations.

  9. @ CHARLES TABOR

    Apology my foot. Tabor let Us talk about the UPP new found love affair with ( CHOKSI). Cannot believe what I AM HEARING . UPP defending CHOKSI

    • ERIC (THE RED) it seems like TENMAN and your powers of understanding is limited even when the facts are staring you in the face. Again, like all rational people, the UPP’s position on Choksi is that he should benefit from the protection of the law. Yes, he is accused of committing serious crimes in India and the Indian government wants him back to face trial. I have no problem with that. However, the issue is he cannot be just sent back without the proper legal prosesses are exhausted. So if the UPP ask that those processes be honoured and that the Rule of Law be observed is that defending Choksi?. If that is defending Choksi then I will defend him to the death. You, TENMAN, FROM THE SIDELINE and all the others need to familiarize yourself with the law and constitutional requirements and stop chatting nonsense.

      • Tabor sorry to keep saying it time and time again you are the worse legal luminary I have come across. The Prime Minister explained to un-informed persons like you that there is a difference between Extradition and Deportation. Antigua would not be able to deport him because he is a citizen. But as soon as his citizenship is revoked, he would be Deported. And that process is done by going to parliament and declare him persona non grata. Extradition would be a lengthy process like what King went through and when he lost his final appeal was extradited to the USA because of a treaty that we have. Same way we were able to get the British Police Officer back here top Antigua to answer sex crime charges. Dominica on the other hand has the option to Deport him as he is not a welcome visitor to the Island and India has requested for them to send him to India and there is a Interpol request also for him. So, the stupidity that you and others like you spew is that you want to bring the politics in it. Antigua has indicated to Dominica not to be interested in seeing him Deported, not Extradited, to Antigua. Because we do not have any request out for him. We are happy to see him go. As we do not wish to harbor criminals. Especially those wanted worldwide. Let me remind of an Antiguan Airport Security executive under the UPP time that went to Trinidad while the USA had a search for him. He felt protected under Antigua law, but when he reached Trinidad where he went on government business he was arrested and DEPORTED to the USA. Nothing that Antigua could do to safe him. I believe he is still in jail. The Syrian guy who had a business here and was wanted by the USA was also deported forthwith to the USA. So you guys must stop twisting the rights of a citizen and the difference between an extradition and a deportation. It’s as simple as that. Even if he comes back as soon as he loses his citizenship which he got under the CIP, it’s out he goes back to India. Time longer then rope.

    • Are you trying to change the subject. Nice try. Gaston is a yellow belly, two – face, hypocrite and you feel so shame you trying to change the subject

  10. Well, well well, Top Dawg, Worl Bass, Moses, is that you BEGGING. The big bad man who had plenty mouth. Now you are a mouse – sorry I insult a mouse- you are like a cockroach.
    You have to beg and beg and beg. Gee, I guess you don’t have so much chat now, do you!
    You are pathetic!!!!!

  11. HA HA HA HA Gaston ” Beg Beg” Browne HA HA HA

    Hey I Can’t Seeeeee you. Looking for the following Comrades

    Eric the Red HA HA HA !!!! Gaston Browne is a Clown

    Rupert Mann HA HA HA, Your hero is a fool

    Just saying HA HA HA , Gaston copy Harold HA HA HA

    Mel HA HA HA – So you support the IMF now HA HA, HA

    Tenman, Cemle, Frederic, Pete, Pedro, Pedro the Dominican, Phillip G, Crimson J, Drake, TM Larton,

    Look at your Prime Minister now: HYPOCRITE, FLIP-FLOPPER, TWO-MOUTH, BEGGAR, WORM

    • DESERT ROSE wow! you are funny. All the comrades especially the one called BEEF must be hanging their heads in SHAME and DISBELIEF.

  12. How can a country who begs China for everything and whom children’s children will owe China till they day they die, look down on borrowing from the IMF?

  13. FROM THE SIDELINE you just write long BS for BS sake. The Prime Minister cannot tell me anything about law. He can hardly tell his wife Maria about law much less me. Am I arguing about the differences between Deportation and Extradition and the Prime Minister can tell me anything about those two concepts. The Prime Minister himself must be laughing at your stupidity.

    • Tabor who knows the laws better, the one who make laws or the one who studies law.
      When you have no defense to my arguments you always call them BS or something. You never come with a proper rebuttal. Is it that’s how you behave in court? I guess not. The judge would throw you out of his court. I indicated to you that Chosi has no constitutional rights in Dominica. Only in Antigua and that is why Gaston and many of us do not want him back here where he can get that protection. And once we win the court case and revoke his citizenship, he will not have any protection at all. And he will be Deported not extradited. Extradition is for citizens. Dumb lawyer

      • FROM THE SIDELINE there you go again with your stupidity. Gaston Browne is a Parliamentarian and make laws, why don’t you ask him if he knows the law better than Gerald Watt or Justin Simon. You write do much foolishness it is amazing. The draughtsman formulates the law and the Parliamentarians pass the law. It does not mean they know the law and how it operates. I explain that to you already. Under International Law any fugitive from the law can be deported to any requesting country. However, the requesting country has to provide compelling evidence that the fugitive has allegedly committed a crime in the requesting country. You and TENMAN appear so dumb at times it is a waste of time communicating with you.

        • Here you go again. Choksi is a fugitive from India and India has provided the evidence and he is therefore on the international wanted list of Interpol and will and should be deported to India. Dumb Lawyer.\
          You keep making these stupid arguments time and time again.
          if a lawmaker doesn’t know the bill that he is passing he cannot debate it. Now I know in the USA it is different. These bills are so thick the lawmakers only know the main points. But in the British system under which we operate the lawmaker better educate himself as he needs to speak on the bill and debate this. That is why sometime bills are referred to the committee stage for further deliberation etc. Lawmakers in our system are fully informed about the bill.

          • FROM THE SIDELINE I am convinced now that you are really stupid. With respect to Choksi and the Interpol red notice that was issued for him, isn’t that to the point I have made and that once compelling evidence is presented to government where Choksi is located the matter will be dealt with there. With respect to whether a legislator or a lawyer knows the law best, I have asked you to put the question to any lawyer and I suggested two names to you. Today will be the last time I will respond to any of your comments. You are just to dumb or is feigning dumbness.

    • Another case study for you. Manuel Noriega was abducted by the American from Panama. He was sentenced and spend years in jail. When his time was up, instead of deporting him back to Panama they deported him to France. Why? Because France wanted him also for some crimes. Therefore, Dominica can if they wish would deport him back to India that has requested his deportation.

  14. @ DESERT ROSE

    Your funding will disappear shortly because UPP is out of MONEY. You will stop chatting all the CRAP , NONSENSE . Your STUPIDITY is beyond me. CHOSKI is gone. Desert Rose hope you were well paid. Both you and Tabor believe that Harold Lovell and UPP are Choir Boys and Girls. ANR should stop posting your STUPIDNESS.SHAME ON DESERT ROSE.

    • HA HA HA Poor ERIC ( THE TODDLER ) is throwing a tantrum. Quick, somebody, get his pacifier. His Worl Borse, make him feel shame. His Top Dawg have to eat his own vomit. His Moses have to read Harold script.
      Eric the Toddler is lashing out because he has to come to terms with the fact that Gaston “beg beg” Browne is really a coward, a hypocrite and a yellow-belly fool ,

      Poor Eric the Toddler can’t deal with it. Boo Hoo!!!! Sob sob.
      Eric the Toddler is throwing a tantrum- bring some Kleenex!!!!!

    • ERIC (THE RED) I am sure you have heard the saying “evil thinks what evil does”. You guys are always taking about people getting paid for commenting on issues, especially when the comments are anti-Gaston and ALP. For your information, since I can speak for myself, I am not paid for my comments on this medium. I am also sure that Desert Rose is not paid either for her biting comments. Moreover, the UPP operates differently to the ALP, so if because you and the other ALP apologists are paid (like Tanny Rose and the late Fumancho) and people like Spliff and Beef, it does not follow that people whose comments invariably support the UPP are paid.

  15. @ CHARLES TABOR

    All these stupid chatting on ANR . The results for 2023 election as follows.

    ABLP ALL 17 SEATS

    UPP NONE 00 SEAT

    DNA 00 SEAT

    BARBUDA 00 SEAT

    Cannot wait to talk to TABOR and DESERT ROSE after election 2023. You Guys would not show your face. You do not win election on ANR and Observer Radio. The BIG RED MACHINE will be out shortly

    • RUPERT MANN you and your 2023 general election results. I hope if the results are not in your favour that I will see your face. I need to get your views on Gaston preparing to go to the IMF for help after his pass negative pronouncements to the contrary.

      • Yo man day, Rupert, answer, Charles. Pray tell us what you think about Gaston begging the IMF.
        Lost your tongue, Comrade!!!!

  16. @ DESERT ROSE

    Desert ROSE please have RESPECT for Our Prime Minister Hon.Gaston Browne . As long I am on ANR I have never heard anyone disrespect our Prime as you have done. We all have our opinions but you have taken to a different level. Your Friend Tabor has never disrespected the Prime Minister. I am sure that Tabor will agree with me that Desert Rose should Apologize to Hon. Gaston Browne.

    • I will have respect for the Prime Minister when he has respect for himself. Gaston Browne is rude, crass, vulgar, uncouth. I will treat him as such!

    • TELL GASTON TO HAVE RESPECT FOR HIMSELF. EVERY TIME HE OPEN HIS MOUTH, HE CHAT STUPIDNESS.

  17. @ CHARLESWORTH TABOR and DESERT ROSE

    The following is my response in reference to the IMF. Hon. Gaston Browne is not against borrowing money from the IMF. Hon. Gaston Browne will borrow from IMF under the following terms..

    NO Laying off of Civil Servants

    1% interest rate

    Hon. Gaston Browne knows how to negotiate unlike your Leader.

    • RUPERT MANN your response shows how misinformed you are about the recent political history of this country. When the UPP went to the IMF what were the conditionalities. Were any civil servants made unemployed. The UPP formulated its own homegrown plan that the IMF agreed to. By the way, all you apologists are missing the point. The point is he criticized and cuss out the IMF so much and also the UPP for going to them (with his cheap politicking), he should not be going to them. That is what you need to understand. Just like Robin Yearwood said that a government that cannot provide water to its people is unfit to be in government, is the same way Lennox Weston said that any country that goes to the IMF is a failed State. I am sure if Gaston Browne tells most of you that Antigua and Barbuda is larger than Africa geographically you will believe him. I was going to say that if he says God does not exist, but I changed my mind since some of you proclaim to be Christian and might have a difficult time believing him. You guys are so hopeless.

      • Tabor do you know about the Public Sector Transformation Program that was put in place headed by a Lady from St. Lucia Gale Archibald, working out of the Ministry of Finance. Right under Lovell. It was funded by the World Bank and the IMF which was part of the agreement for the IMF loan. This program would have been in implementation stage in 2014. Which mean cut cut cut in the public sector. Please go to your 2013 budget and read it carefully. When ABLP came into power and Gale told Samantha Marshall who was the then Minister of Social Transformation what the goal was, they immediately terminated the program and send Gale packing. By the way, I hope Lovell doesn’t go around and do what he did to Donna with this beautiful and intelligent lady and sully her name.

    • Pssssss.

      Copy cat Gaston. Harold negotiated for exactly those conditions. Beg beg Gaston is just copying Harold. Gaston using Harold’s vocabulary.

      It must be hard to come to terms with the fact that Harold was right all along.

      Sweet dreams!

  18. Noriega was extradited to France. Not deported! He’s a Panamanian citizen. He was extradited from the United States at the request of the French Government to face money laundering, drug trafficking amongst other charges. Fact check your sources Sideline. Leroy King was extradited to the United States. Choksi can only be deported to the country of his origin for illegal entry. Extradition to India from Dominica will fail. Dominica does not have jurisdiction over his extradition proceedings that were started in Antigua. They have jurisdiction over the illegal entry infraction. Upon found guilty or a plea of guilty or no contest he should deported Antigua. Full stop!

  19. Previously world dictator traitor tyrant liar Gaston Browne buse off IMF and now look at him. Eating crow and in the meantime putting us and our nation in debt. On the other hand, some blind voters put him in power and for that you will never be free financially.

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