Prime Minister Mitchell has applauded the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago for helping Grenada to make payments to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and avert a third downgrade. “They showed me the books and said look, next week if you don’t pay the 5 million dollars to the bank they are going to downgrade us a third time,” Dr Mitchell recalled.
“So I called my good friend Kamla Persad-Bissessar and I said you have to help me because Jamaica will get hurt, Guyana, St Vincent and the Grenadines will get hurt because of Grenada again. So she helped us and we were able to pay that and pay a number of countries so that’s why I will always remember our sisters and brothers in Trinidad and Tobago because they saved us and, that is what Caribbean unity is all about.”
Officials of the Barbados based CDB had warned the Mitchell administration that if Grenada failed to make an outstanding 5 million dollar payment, the bank will again be downgraded. CDB downgrading costs borrowing Caribbean countries millions of dollars due to much higher borrowing rates.
“The Caribbean Development Bank accesses loans from the international community and unlend to governments… so the higher the ratings of the bank, is the cheaper the loans to the individual countries,” Mitchell explained to a town hall meeting in New York this past week. “So when they got downgraded twice because of Grenada, it means that it caused the borrowing member countries in the Caribbean hundreds of scores of millions of dollars because they now have to borrow at much higher rates.”