1995 Economic emergency plan
According to Countryaah, in September 1995, Hurricane Luis caused $ 300 million in losses. 60% of the buildings in the country were destroyed – including the most important hotels – which greatly affected the country’s tourism infrastructure. In 1996, the catastrophic situation led the government to implement an economic exemption program, which included: meant a drastic reduction in spending. Publicly paid salaries were frozen for a two-year period and ministers’ salaries were reduced by 10%. Furthermore, part of the state property was privatized for the purpose. to raise funds for the state.
In the same year, control of the local council in Barbuda passed to the opposition movement, the People’s Movement, which got 5 seats in the council. In February 1997, the government closed four banks after finding irregularities in their operations. In February 1999, the US Department of State labeled the country as one of the most attractive in the Caribbean for money laundering, while noting that state control over financial operations was severely limited by the government itself being infiltrated by this financial mafia, was a threat to democracy itself.
Both in 1998 and 1999, the islands were hit by severe hurricanes. In 98, there was Hurricane Georges that killed 500 people in the Caribbean, and in 99 Lenny that caused significant material destruction.
In the March 99 parliamentary elections, Bird was re-elected prime minister, but his government was shaken by a series of scandals, including arms deals and prosecution of Prime Minister’s brother, Ivor for drug trafficking.
- AllCityPopulation: Find Antigua and Barbuda demographics including latest population, life expectancy, age structure, and urbanization.
In February 2002, Parliament presented a proposal to the government for constitutional reform, which reduced Parliament to 17 deputies and 12 senators, a greater impact on Barbuda and the implementation of legislation guaranteeing freedom of speech. The reform proposal also contained a number of points for strengthening gender equality.