March 31, 2010

Caribbean on verge of bankruptcy

Region on verge of bankruptcy says Guyana president

Published on: 3/31/2010.

GEORGETOWN - President Bharrat Jagdeo says the Caribbean is on the verge of bankruptcy as many countries were spending more on servicing external debt and has reiterated his call for urgent debt relief by the international financial institutions.

Jagdeo, who heads a special Caribbean Community (CARICOM) task force to assess the financial crisis in the region, told a media conference recently that the debt situation is worsening.

"The region is heading towards bankruptcy if countries could be declared bankrupt, many of the countries simply cannot pay their way and they can't meet recurring cost and pay their debts," the Guyana head of state warned.

He added that poor productivity and the heavy debt were the main factors contributing to the financial crisis in the region, adding that the situation was further exacerbated by the global financial crisis, the reduction in exports, remittances and tourist arrivals.

Jagdeo's comments came during the CARICOM heads meeting with top officials of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank in Dominica earlier this month.

World Bank president Robert Zoellick said his organisation was willing to sending experts to the various Caribbean countries to assess their debt management strategies. (CMC)

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