Government committed to protecting economic stability

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 29TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis says it is remains committed to the goal of protecting the economic stability of the Federation.

Saying that it understood the importance of listening carefully to its creditors, and in exhibiting the kind of flexibility that is essential where negotiations of this magnitude are concerned, Prime Minister Douglas said the outcome of negotiations with its creditors has ensured that rather than having a one-size-fits all approach to debt relief, creditors have the possibility to choose their preferred form of debt relief.

“Without becoming too technical, let me say that one option involves a 50% reduction in the face value of existing claims, with a 20 year repayment period, 6% interest from Years 1 – 4,and 3% interest thereafter. The second option would be a 45-year Par Bond with a 1.5% interest, and a 15 year grace period on the principal,” said Prime Minister Douglas during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister” on Tuesday.

Dr. Douglas is of the view that everyone who wishes their country well should be very happy that these negotiations have been successful.

“Everyone who wants to see this country continue to be a stable and respected member of the world community of democratic nations should, in a moment of quiet reflection, be relieved and grateful that, in these trying and turbulent times, our tiny nation was able to successfully make this clear step forward,” said Dr. Douglas, adding:

“This outcome was not sought on behalf of Catholics as opposed to Pentecostals, or farmers as opposed to teachers, or to boost Political Party A as opposed to Political Party B. This outcome was sought with the interest of Catholics and Pentecostals, farmers and teachers, political parties of every persuasion and every man, woman, and child in this Federation in mind, because this serves the interest of us all.”

Following a statement issued on Monday by the Ministry of Finance, Prime Minister Douglas told listeners that creditors who participate in this offer will receive a one-off “goodwill” payment one month after the issuance of the new bonds in lieu of accrued interest.

He said those wishing to accept the offer should submit their tenders no later than the close of business on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.

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