23 Jun 2004

Nauru's new government begins work today

10:43 am on 23 June 2004

Nauru's new government hopes to pass the island's long delayed budget today.

The Government of Rene Harris was toppled yesterday after Finance Minister Kinza Clodumar switched allegiance, ending more than two months of a parliamentary impasse.

David Adeang, the new minister for foreign affairs and for justice, says refinancing their debt with General Electric Corporation and the Budget are the priorities.

"Well there's not a lot of time for us to work in basically because if we don't pass the budget we can't access treasury funds, so the quicker the better, otherwise all goods all services provided by government will have to come to a stop."

The country owes GEC 165 million US dollars, but the ousted President Rene Harris claims he has sorted new financing with merchant banker Babcock and Brown.

He says as far as he is concerned the deal with Babcock and Brown is final and the debt fears are resolved.