Categorized | Featured, National News

PM: No Additional Concessions For Baha Mar Deal

PM Perry Christie

PM Perry ChristieAs the controversy surrounding the Baha Mar deal continues, Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday in The House of Assembly shot down claims that the government provided additional concessions to conclude that deal.

Mr. Christie noted that most countries provide concessions to promote investment, and as such the country’s laws accommodate this practice for all investors.

“The suggestion that the government has provided unusual concessions to conclude this deal are not true,” asserted Mr. Christie.

“My advisors instruct me to be cautious about what I say given the Court Order. I can say that CCA was given Hotel Encouragement Act concessions (for construction) by the FNM and will be given the same concessions (to complete construction) by my government,” he added.

“I can also say that Governments of The Bahamas are constrained by the Atlantis agreement in what they can offer any hotel and casino development. The concessions that will be offered to a new developer cannot exceed those given to Atlantis.”

Meantime, the prime minister gave a timeline for when creditors affected by the resort’s debacle will be paid out.

“We expect that the thousands of former employees of Baha Mar will be paid by the end of September 2016 and that other creditor matters will be concluded on or by 31st December 2016,” he assured.

Addressing the criticisms stemming from the fact that the details behind the deal are concealed by the court, the prime minister said such a move is standard.

“The application to have the documents sealed was made by the China Export-Import Bank. This kind of Seal is standard, especially in transactions of this complexity, scale and international market-sensitivity. Remember, the Bank already has billions, billions, of dollars, invested in this project,” he said.

“The Bank is negotiating the sale of the property. We have made it clear that casino, convention centre and their respective hotels must be operated by world class specialists who must either have equity in the Project or make significant capital contributions to the Project,” he continued.

“Putting the documents under Seal enables the Bank to finalise these sensitive negotiations with the normal business confidences that one would expect. Despite the wishes of some, it is simply unrealistic to expect global businesses to conduct their negotiations in the media,” the prime minster added.

Furthermore, Mr. Christie insisted that the court approved the sealing of documents to ensure the security and the best outcome for the property.

He added that the court will lift the seal whenever it sees the necessity to.

Earlier this week, Education Minister Fitzgerald said it is “sickening” that critics are trying to present the Baha Mar deal in a negative light.

He said that the government is satisfied that at the end of the day, the negotiations made would be satisfactory to Bahamians.

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis indicated that Bahamians are not satisfied with the prime minister’s explanation.

“The Bahamian people just want answers from the Prime Minister and not more smoke and mirrors. His credibility lies tattered and in ruins because of his many failures throughout his long tenure in office. He questions those that are standing up for the Bahamian people yet he has failed the Bahamian people time and time again. He has deceived them regarding the gaming referendum. He has deceived Bahamians by continuing to operate the illegal National Intelligence Agency in spite of promising legislation, and he has failed to control the national debt after promising to reduce it,” he said.

“This entire debacle would be over if he just released the full set of documents to his secret deal since he claims he is not hiding anything. Until such time as the Prime Minister and the PLP Government release them, the FNM will continue to be the voice of the people and demand accountability from this government.”



Written by Jones Bahamas

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