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Dna Leader Blasts Rivals On Atlantis

By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net DEMOCRATIC National Alliance (DNA) leader, Branville MCartney, last night heaped blame on both PLP leader Perry Christie and Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham over the continuing $2.5 billion Atlantis debt saga, which continues to make job security for its nearly 8,000-strong workforce uncertain. Brookfield Asset Management yesterday cancelled the deal to take control of the Atlantis resort and the One & Only Ocean Club after other creditors obtained a court ruling delaying the deal. Late last November, Kerzner International announced that it would transfer its ownership of Atlantis and the One & Only Ocean Club to Brookfield, which has some $159 billion in assets. Speaking to Tribune Business yesterday from Cat Island, Mr McCartney said that based on the information his party obtained some time ago, the DNA was first to warn the Bahamian people that jobs at Atlantis were in jeopardy, noting that the claims were refuted at the time by the Government. Looking to maximise political advantage with a general election approaching, Mr McCartney said: "In brokering this deal for Baha Mar and Atlantis, neither Christie nor Ingraham considered what was best for the Bahamian people in their negotiations. "Now they have put the lives of more than 8,000 people in jeopardy, and this is a good reason for the Bahamian people to ensure that both of them are not returned to office. "This is the continuation of a series of bad decisions by two men who have no business acumen or experience in business; two men whose only claim to fame is that they have been politicians all their lives. The Bahamas needs no more career politicians." Mr McCartney added: "We hope and pray that in this circumstance this matter will be worked out to the best interest of the Bahamian workers, and that their jobs and livelihood will be secure." Democratic National Alliance (DNA) chairman Mark Humes told Tribune Business: "We said it was a bad deal from the beginning. It is sad that because of the decisions taken by former prime minister Christie and Prime Minister Ingraham, the fate of some 8,000 employees now hangs in the balance. "Mr Christie began this bad deal by allowing Kerzner to leverage the Atlantis property." Mr Humes charged that Prime Minister Ingraham had not been open about the Brookfield deal, and had given premature assurances regarding the job security of Atlantis employees, although the deal had not been completed.

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