This Week in The Bahamas Commentary by Elcott Coleby: Aug 22 – 26
High Minister Christie publicizes settlement to finish Baha Mar
On Monday, what changed into without a doubt the largest news of the week Top Minister Christie added a nationally televised cope with at the successful outcome of the Baha Mar negotiations. He was on the Cupboard Office, surrounded with the aid of his Cupboard colleagues and before the entire media corps.
He introduced the on the spot resumption of creation at the mission site to deliver it to finishing touch. He also outlined the guaranteed severance bills to the 2,000 displaced employees similarly to bills to unsecured contractors and service carriers. Mr. Christie stated that his government will work assiduously to make sure that the various hotels and casinos could be opened for the 2016-2017 iciness season. He said that Monday became a good day for The Bahamas.
The rumor mill and conspiracy theories went into overdrive at this announcement. On day by day speak indicates and in social media groups there had been fees that the Christie administration had reduced a few nefarious secret deal and had something to hide. There were expenses of the sale of a few 500 citizenships and the giveaway of land on several own family islands. Others complained approximately the level of Chinese language involvement within the Bahamian economic system. There has been even spoke of reviewing and probable reversing the deal by way of the legit competition have to they win the 2017 general elections.
3 days later on Thursday, the Top Minister’s Workplace launched any other statement separating fact from fiction.
In this statement published underneath in its entirety, the authorities reiterated the info of the agreement, highlighting a number of the Data which are provided underneath for my readers’ ease of reference:
The fact that production at Baha Mar could be resumed as fast as feasible;
The truth that the China EXIM Financial institution has dedicated to fund all remaining structures fees to complete Baha Mar
The truth that we are making each effort to make sure that the casino and on line casino in, the conference centre and its motel, and the golf route, will open before the end of the 2016-2017 wintry weather season;
The truth that the thousands of former Bahamian personnel of Baha Mar will acquire the following awesome amounts because of them: unpaid salaries, severance pay, collected holiday pay, and note bills due to termination;
The fact that moreover, sums deducted from employees and former personnel’ salaries and pension contributions will be repaid;
The fact that funds could be made to be had to permit Bahamian lenders and contractors to get hold of a vast element, and possibly All the fee of their claims;
The fact that Bahamians retaining commercial rentals and concessions, could be authorised to hold them;
The fact that some same humans and companies who had been previously reduced in size, will be re-engaged to complete the undertaking,
The truth that the authorities of The Bahamas and the Bahamian utility groups, together with BPL, will get hold of charge for some of their notable claims towards the Baha Mar organizations;
The reality that the authorities will expand appropriate concessions, to facilitate the construction and promote the success future operation of the Baha Mar hotel;
The truth that the finished challenge could be sold to a certified global-magnificence on line casino and on line casino resort and convention centre and resort operator.
Baha Mar, the biggest undertaking ever of its type within the Region, is a complicated, business transaction that calls for big attention to detail. The government, together with different stakeholders will maintain to paintings to enforce the duties below the settlement.
The government will now not be distracted from its efforts and could maintain to paintings for and on behalf of the Bahamian humans.
There had been allegations that we have offered citizenships.
That is False.
There were allegations that we’ve given away or sold islands.
This is False.
Nothing has been given with the aid of way of concessions that has no longer been supplied before the preceding traders.
As the Top Minister stated in his declaration, re-mobilisation of the undertaking will begin right now.