ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) — Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell says that speedy intervention by the New National Party (NNP) government after being returned to office in February saved the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) from being downgraded a second time.
|Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell|
Mitchell made the revelation on Wednesday of last week, as he addressed the media officially for the first time after being returned to office, following a landslide victory at the February 19 polls.
The CDB was previously downgraded as a result of Grenada defaulting on its payments.
Mitchell told reporters that a payment was made since returning to office.
The issue of arrears surfaced while Mitchell was having a luncheon in Bridgetown with the management team of the CDB.
“To my surprise, they appealed to me, saying, please make sure Grenada does not default again next week. We had to find US$2 point-something million to meet that payment,” Mitchell said.
He indicated that they had to deliver in a timely manner.
“It was a good thing we did, because Standard and Poor’s was already calling to find out if Grenada was going to pay,” he said.
He added that the government had to respond speedily to save the day.
“If we did not pay, as they said to me, the Bank will be again downgraded, and the rest of the islands in the region were very much concerned because the Bank was downgraded before, and it will cost the other countries more money to raise funds for the CDB for development,” Mitchell pointed out.
He took a swipe at the approach of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, who spoke much about transparency and good governance.
“Grenada’s irresponsible behaviour over the years in not meeting its debt to the CDB, caused the other regional governments to suffer fiscally,” Mitchell said.