Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has broken his silence about the ongoing discussion on the sale of LIAT between his country and Barbados.
Media reports from Bridgetown indicated that discussions were not going favorably because Mia Mottley is insisting that Antigua and Barbuda take up Barbados’ almost $100 million loan commitments.
But Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda will not settle at the US$44 million proposal made by the Barbadian government.
“I understand mathematics, and I understand percentages, and I also understand value for money. So, if we were to settle at US$44 million, that would be a steal for Barbados; and we are not in the process of giving away money. We are in the process of creating value and to get fair value for the people of Antigua and Barbuda. So, as far as I am concerned and I have said this to the Prime Minister of Barbados, because she knows my thinking, that discussions cannot start at US$44 million. She knows my position and has since come down,” he said.
Browne, while speaking on his radio show, was not shy in airing his disappointment with the government’s negotiating team in even considering the said proposal.
The two countries have been holding discussions on the acquisition of the shares and last week, Browne said the talks were still ongoing despite media reports that they had broken down.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a ministerial statement delivered last month in the House of Assembly, said Barbados was reducing its financial involvement in LIAT.