– describes route as “incompetence and rape of the treasury”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has warned of the economic impact the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government’s obsession with out-of-court settlements could have onOpposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoGuyana.Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil Williams while defending his Government for coming to a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement with BK International over the Haags Bosch Landfill Site, announced that more of these settlements were likely.However, Jagdeo at a recent press conference said incompetence was the reason for the Government to embark on this course of action.“[It’s] incompetence and rape of the treasury. We don’t know how many statements are made on a daily basis,” he stated.The former President had, in the past, warned the present Government about setting a precedent in running too quickly to settle matters outside the court, many of which he had said the Government was in a strong position to win.Earlier this year, the current Administration agreed to pay BK International US$5.7 million in an out-of-court settlement for the terminated contract and works completed “satisfactorily” at the landfill site. At that time, Williams had argued that the settlement was necessary, since the Government was fearful of losing a US$10 million lawsuit filed by the contractor.However, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan subsequently rubbished the AG’s claims, and stated that there was no legal action taken and the payout was done on the basis of a mere letter from BK International threatening to sue the Government for US$10 million.Williams has since sought to cast blame on the former Government, which, he said, had already agreed to pay BK.Addressing this, Jagdeo dismissed the claim as an “absolute lie”, adding that “Basil Williams knows that himself. In the past eight months…they have never mentioned this once.”He said it was the APNU/AFC Government that publicly declared that BK International had filed a lawsuit for US$10 million.“Now, because they are cornered, it had to be that the PPP agreed to the settlement. Everything that is bad has to be put at the step of the PPP,” Jagdeo remarked.Apart from the BK settlement, back in April, the APNU/AFC Government agreed to a similar settlement with the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) over the consumption tax rate levied by the Government on DDL and other beverage manufacturers.Jagdeo had said that the significant consequence of that settlement was that Banks DIH Ltd, who, in like circumstances, paid billions of dollars in consumption taxes, assessed by the Commissioner General, utilising the same method used to calculate DDL’s consumption tax liabilities, could also claim a refund on consumption taxes paid.
Barca hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, but the Catalans cannot be overtaken thanks to their superior head-to-head record.It is Barca’s 26th league title and nudges them closer to Real Madrid’s record of 33 in Spain.“To win the title with a distance and gap is difficult with the rivals we have. We’ve done it two years in a row,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told Movistar.“We’re happy and to see people enjoying it makes us proud. But we still have challenges ahead.”Valverde initially left Messi on the bench with Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool in mind, but he replaced Philippe Coutinho at the break at the Camp Nou.Coutinho and Luis Suarez pressed Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez into action early on, the Brazilian coming closest to breaking the deadlock when his free-kick rattled the crossbar shortly before half-time.He was sacrificed for Messi though, and it proved an inspired decision as the Argentine swept in the winner on 62 minutes following a frantic scramble inside the Levante area.The visitors, not yet safe from the threat of relegation, responded and put Barca on the defensive but were denied a last-gasp equaliser when the ball hit the post and rolled into the grateful arms of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.“In the end he scored the goal. He always scores goals everywhere,” Valverde said of Messi, who celebrated winning his 10th league crown.– Atletico delay the party –Atletico had delayed Barca’s title party earlier in the day as they scraped past strugglers Real Valladolid 1-0 after surviving late VAR penalty drama.Joaquin Fernandez’s own goal put Atletico ahead midway through the second half, but they had to endure a nervy final few minutes in which Jan Oblak had to be at his best and they survived a late VAR check over what looked like a clear Santiago Arias handball in the area.Atletico Madrid had to survive a VAR penalty review to beat Real Valladolid and delay Barcelona’s La Liga title party © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS“It’s controversial, a ball that hits the hand and the referee’s decision is to see if it’s voluntary or not,” said Saul Niguez, whose cross led to their fortunate winner.Diego Simeone’s side are nine points ahead of local rivals and reigning European champions Real Madrid, who travel to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday amid increasing speculation they will respond to a disappointing season by swooping for Eden Hazard and Neymar.“It’s what we deserve, no more, no less. We’ve come so far,” added Saul.“There were moments when we wanted to be first and others that I would say no, that’s what we deserve.”Valladolid meanwhile stay 17th, just one point and a place away from the relegation zone after a match they will feel they were unlucky to lose.Earlier on Saturday, Athletic Bilbao and Alaves did their chances of European football next season no favours with a 1-1 draw in the Basque Country.Seventh-placed Bilbao are five points away from the Champions league places — with Alaves a further three points back — and could also see Valencia and Sevilla take the Europa league further away from them when they take on Eibar and Girona.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi wrapped up another La Liga title for Barcelona © AFP / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Apr 28 – Lionel Messi clinched an eighth La Liga title for Barcelona in 11 seasons on Saturday as he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante.The Argentine star struck his league-leading 34th goal of the campaign after coming off the bench for the second half to help Barca wrap up the title with three games remaining.