Prime Minister Perry Christie in his reaction to Baha Mar’s decision to file for bankruptcy said he will not be taking sides on the matter.
The prime minister said in a statement yesterday, that while he acknowledges Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian’s commitment to pursue an early and definitive settlement of the resort’s outstanding differences with the lender and the resort’s general contractor, the government will continue to be available to all parties to assist in the mediation and resolution of their differences.
“In doing so, however, the government will not be taking anyone’s side,” Christie said.
“Instead, the government will at all times continue to optimize its value as a mediator between the parties so as to ensure that the interests of Bahamian workers and indeed the interests of the nation as a whole are accorded primacy at all times.”
He expressed that the government has taken note of certain legal initiatives that have been taken by Baha Mar in the courts of the United States to secure creditor protection.
The prime minister explained that the attorney general is reviewing these initiatives and their implications in conjunction with the government’s U.S. and U.K. attorneys.
“Until this review has been completed, it would obviously not be appropriate to make any further comment on this aspect of the matter,” Christie said.
However, he expressed that the government remains hopeful that with the continued exertion of good faith efforts by all concerned, Baha Mar will not only open soon, but will fulfill its promise as an important new dimension in Bahamian and regional tourism and one that will represent a major contributor to Bahamian employment.
Free National Movement Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis also provided a statement of his reaction following the shocking news that Baha Mar filed for bankruptcy.
“The shocking news that Baha Mar has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States of America has caused disquiet and even a sense of alarm in our society,” Dr. Minnis said yesterday.
He explained that the FNM deeply regrets that matters have come to such a pass and the party is concerned about the well-being and job security of the thousands of Bahamians employed by Baha Mar.
The FNM is also concerned about the plight faced by the thousands of young Bahamians who looked to Baha Mar as their means of escape from the harsh circumstances of chronic and high unemployment levels.
“The Free National Movement is in discussion now with various stakeholders determining the details surrounding the decision and the accuracy of the various reports issued by government officials including the prime minister in recent days,” Dr. Minnis said.
He announced that today the FNM will hold a press conference to share their position on this matter and pledge their support for the resumption of the $3.5 billion Baha Mar project, which is pivotal to the country’s ongoing growth and development as a leading tourist destination.