Thursday, February 5, 2009

Congress Approves $950 Million Debt

After several frustrated attempts, and with support from other banks, the government won and approved five loans totaling US $950 million (Q7.5 billion). It is poised to do the same with three more loans totalling Q462 million.

The UNE (La Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza) succeeded in promoting the adoption of these loans and declared it a national priority with 114 votes. President Álvaro Colom also urged adoption of these measures.

These funds are necessary for the country and for the budget. Some of the loans will go towards funding this year's budget. The loans will be granted by the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

Several deputies of the Partido Patriota (PP) had expressed their rejection of those claims. "The people no longer resist more debt, just because there were political negotiations and arrangements," claimed Anabella De Leon, PP.

Since the start of the plenary sessions this year, the UNE has sought the approval of these loans.

These loans will increase the country's foreign debt by about 22 percent. Until last December the debt stood at US $4.367 billion (Q34 billion)

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