6 Sep 2004

Nauru Government says a former president is delaying its efforts to refinance a huge debt

7:28 pm on 6 September 2004

The Nauru minister in charge of the country's Trust Fund, Fabian Ribauw, says a former president is delaying the government's efforts to refinance its loan with American company General Electric Corporation.

Nauru has been ordered to attend a mediation meeting with Business Australia Corporate Finance because the two sides don't agree on how much money the island owes.

Mr Ribauw says the BACF case is holding up attempts to refinance its 165-million US dollar loan.

He says papers show Kinza Clodumar will be representing BACF at Wednesday's meeting.

"I also know that he has been associated with them in the past several months and some of the times that we have tried to make arrangements to refinance have been more or less undermined by his presence with BACF because they have been a major obstacle in our path to refinancing."

Mr Ribauw says Nauru agrees that it owes BACF money but nowhere near the 16-million dollars they say.

He says Nauru owes 7 million at the most.