FORMER PNG PRIME MINISTER SKATE DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR LARGE DEBT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 7, 1999 – Radio Australia)--- Former Prime Minister and now opposition leader Bill Skate has denied accusations that his government was totally responsible for an outstanding multi-million kina debt.

The K 217 million (US$ 80.7 million) debt was reportedly hidden and was recently unveiled by the new government of Sir Mekere Morauta.

Mr. Skate said the debt was accumulated by various governments over the last five to seven years, adding that his government had repaid part of it.

The opposition leader blamed his former treasurer and government bureaucrats for not making sure the debt was repaid.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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