No ignoring the IMF, warns Mottley

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley has predicted a negative outcome to today’s International Monetary Fund’s executive board meeting, called to examine the latest Article IV Report on Barbados.

The report is based on an assessment made by a visiting IMF team last December which held discussions with Government and Central Bank representatives, along with other key local officials.

While expressing a fear that a conclusion of the executive board on the current economic crisis of Barbados may lead it into the hands of IMF, Mottley chided the Freundel Stuart administration for what she described as its unwillingness to heed advice.

“This Government has ignored us. I have told you in the last two weeks that Freundel Stuart’s political manhood does not allow him to listen to this woman. Fine, but take care he doesn’t have to listen to the other woman soon, [IMF managing director Christine] Madame Legarde,” she told a political meeting organised by her Opposition Barbados Labour Party last night.

She added: “Freundel Stuart has said that his Eminent Persons Group is the Cabinet of Barbados, but take care that he doesn’t have an international eminent persons group on him very shortly called the IMF.

“I have no doubt that that report will yet again say to Freundel Stuart and Chris Sinckler that Barbados is in a very precarious position.”

By practice, the IMF usually issues a summary of its conclusions in a media release, while forwarding the detailed analysis to government that has the option to make the entire document public.

Mottley noted the possibility of Government opting to withhold the detailed IMF findings and warned: “And when that report comes tomorrow [today], I want through you to say to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance that we have had releases of every other Article IV Report on Barbados.

“Now let us be clear, the Government can choose, as has happened in some countries, not to release it. But I am sending the message from this platform that if the Government chooses not to share with us what the IMF tells them, then that could be worse than anything the IMF could have written in it, because it tells us everything we need to know about you. So don’t play that game with us.”

International funding organisations and governments usually take guidance from IMF pronouncements on the state of national economies when conducting business.

Mottley said: “As we await the judgment of the international community this week on our affairs . . . the IDB will not lend us a cent of money until the independent macroeconomic assessment of Barbados, a fancy phrase for nothing but the IMF Report, that the European Union is waiting, that the Caribbean Development Bank is awaiting, that the commercial banks are awaiting, and nobody wants to touch Barbados until there is that independent macroeconomic assessment that will be carried to the IMF Executive Board tomorrow [today].”

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