PRIME Minister Perry Christie last night questioned the mental health of the chief executive of Baha Mar, Sarkis Izmirlian.
In a statement issued shortly before midnight, he first said that this was a time when rationality and cool heads were required, before going on to say that he had “grave concern for the state of Mr Izmirlian’s mind”. According to the Prime Minister he was disappointed in “both the intemperate tone and incorrect content of Baha Mar’s press statement” issued yesterday.
He said: “It is particularly regrettable, that at a time when rationality and cool heads are required to deal with the current crisis at Baha Mar, the company’s leadership appears to be going to pieces under the mounting pressure.”
The statement continued: “The Prime Minister said that today’s statement from Baha Mar has given him grave concern for the state of Mr Izmirlian’s mind.”
Mr Christie said: “As recently as yesterday (Sunday), Mr Izmirlian was calling me, completely unsolicited, to give me his private assurances and to express confidence in me but now, just one day later, he issues a public statement saying the exact opposite and in tones resonating with gross disrespect for the elected authority of this land. Indeed I am at a loss to recall any previous instance of a foreign investor who took it upon himself to publicly excoriate the government of the day in such a shrill and belligerent manner.”
According to the statement Mr Christie said Mr Izmirlian should “cease and desist from trying to fool his own workers and the general public”.
“He must stop playing fast and loose with the facts to serve his own ends. He ought to know full well that the delay in effecting payment to the workers had absolutely nothing to do with any stalling or obstructive action on the Government’s part. Instead, I am advised, that it was the result of normal informational requirements of the Government’s bankers and necessary account information exchanges between Baha Mar and the Treasury.”
The statement continued to say that the Prime Minister reminded Mr Izmirlian that the workers and the country at large are only in the present predicament to begin with “because of his own unilateral decision to go into Chapter 11 proceedings in a foreign country”.
“Be that as it may,” said Mr Christie, “this is no time for Mr Izmirlian to buckle under the pressure and lose his balance. He needs to keep his nerves steady, stop talking nonsense, and join with the government and all other interested parties in reaching a speedy and definitive resolution of the current crisis. That is where my focus is and that is where Mr Izmirlian’s focus should be as well.”
China Construction American (CCA) – the North and South American subsidiary of the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (CSCEC) – also issued a statement shortly after midnight.
The statement was issued in response to the filing for bankruptcy protection last week.
The statement said: “Baha Mar Ltd’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection is the direct result of its failure to secure adequate financing and its mismanagement of the design of Baha Mar resort project. This mismanagement includes replacing the principal architect after construction had commenced, the late and incomplete delivery of design packages and over 1,300 Construction Change Directives. The vast majority of the Baha Mar debtors are organised under the laws of The Bahamas, the Baha Mar project is located in The Bahamas, and the Bahamian people are deeply invested in the future of the project. Baha Mar Ltd.’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection in the United States was, therefore, misplaced and calculated to benefit the project’s developer over the interests of the Bahamas and its people.
“Baha Mar Ltd.’s recent public attempt to shift responsibility away from itself and blame CCA Bahamas and our subcontractors for the delays in the project’s completion is misleading and dishonest. It is insulting to the many talented and hardworking employees and subcontractors that work for CCA Bahamas and harms the interests of the people and government of The Bahamas that are represented by this landmark project.
“Since February 2015, CCA Bahamas and our subcontractors have performed nearly $72m of contract work for which we have received no payment. Our aggregate investment in and commitment to the project, including money advanced by CSCEC on behalf of the developer, approximates $220m. We have continually acted in good faith in the performance of this work reliant upon the belief that Baha Mar Ltd. would fulfil its responsibilities as the owner.
“CCA Bahamas is committed to holding Baha Mar Ltd accountable for its improper actions and failed commitments to the Bahamian government, the people of The Bahamas, and all of its creditors. We look forward to working with the financial community and the Bahamian government in order to complete this important project.”