Belize close to extension, part payment on debt

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By PATRICK E. JONES, Associated Press

BELIZE CITY (AP) — The Central American nation of Belize may be close to a negotiated extension and partial payment on a $23 million bond payment it would default on this week if nothing is done.

Belize missed a deadline for the payment on August 20, but has been under a one-month grace period.

A source on the government negotiating team that has been talking with creditors said Wednesday there has been progress on extending the grace period, in exchange for a partial payment.

The source was not authorized to be quoted by name and did not say how much the payment would involve. The country's total debt is $544 million.

Parliament said Monday it will hold a special session one week from Wednesday.

Belize has heavy debts from infrastructure projects and recent nationalizations.

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