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Pm Hopes Baha Mar Will Open By Winter

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Perry Christie said yesterday he was optimistic that Baha Mar developers, China Construction America and the Export-Import Bank of China will reach a resolution on their issues allowing the $3.5b project to reach completion to hopefully get the property open for the winter tourist season in November.

However, speaking to reporters yesterday, Mr Christie said whether the ongoing situation reached an improved state before the next Supreme Court date into Baha Mar’s US bankruptcy filing relied heavily on the parties involved. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court set down the Baha Mar matter until July 20, with an in chambers status hearing set for July 14. The matter was adjourned so all sides could get back to the negotiating table.

Mr Christie said as the resort is more than 95 per cent finished with just $300m needed for total completion, it was now more important than ever, to go back to the negotiating table.

“Let me tell you, just driving past there looking at that place and knowing the promise that it represents to thousands of Bahamians not just the 2,000 who are employed (there) but another 4,000 that could be employed in those places and that is what it is all about. That is why . . .we must finish to give him (the developer) an opportunity to meet the tourism season when it starts in November so that is what I am hoping that we are going to bring about,” he said.

He added that as the Export-Import Bank of China requested that he mediate the discussions, he was hopeful that he could get all parties to agree on a way forward.

“Well (whether we are at a better place by the time we return to court) would depend on the real interest of the parties and reaching an agreement,” Mr Christie said. “I am satisfied that all of those who spoke to me have that interest.

“The application (for the court adjournment) was made by Baha Mar’s owners and developers and therefore it was presumed that they are making a serious application. If it is not so then we will soon find out and we have access to the courts before the date.”

He continued: “As you know Baha Mar is planned to significantly impact this destination and so I am very happy that I was able to say that I have every reason to believe one way or the other we are going to move towards a resolution.

“The talks haven’t started, the question is where do we meet. If I am to attend the meetings, the meetings could not be in China because China would require certain very advanced diplomatic manoeuvres to accommodate a head of state coming in. So if I am going to be a participant in the talks, the bank has asked me to become the chair of the talks, and that could only happen outside of China and either here or some other country if the parties decide that is what they want to do.”

This week, the relationship between Baha Mar CEO Sarkis Izmirlian, Mr Christie, and general contractor China Construction America became more strained, with a war of words being played out in the press.

While Mr Christie said he has asked all stakeholders to put the incidents of this past week behind them with a view to come to the table with a clean slate, he reiterated that under no circumstance would he tolerate disrespect.

“I think (that the strong statements are behind us) and most certainly I hope so. But you know in these matters people say things and if they say things that I am in vile disagreement with I will respond accordingly and always doing so in the interest of the country.

“The good news is that we are resuming talks that I have asked for all of that talk be put behind us. I have no rancor. No feelings on the matter. Whatever views I have personally must be sublimated in the interest of the country.

On Monday, Baha Mar slammed the government for “concocting a sideshow for its own purposes” after the Christie administration accused the resort of being slow to provide necessary information, thus delaying salary payments to the resort’s employees for the last pay period.

The resort also questioned why the Christie administration is not supporting Mr Izmirlian, who it said has been “victimised” by CCA, adding that the government’s actions have “sown doubt” about the project’s future.

Hours later, Mr Christie shot back saying he was disappointed in both the intemperate tone and incorrect content of Baha Mar’s press statement. He also questioned Mr Izmirlian’s mental health.

And in a statement released shortly after midnight on Tuesday, CCA blasted Baha Mar saying the shock resort’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was a direct result of its failure to secure adequate financing and its mismanagement of the property’s design.

The government agreed to pay Baha Mar salaries last week, after an earlier adjournment of the Supreme Court’s hearing into Baha Mar’s application to ratify access to debtor-in-possession financing approved by a US bankruptcy court.

Comments

Cobalt 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, Mr. Christie...... we all hope that the resort comes on stream asap. However, in this case, hope and optimism is an indulgence that we cannot afford at this time.

What the Bahamas really needs at this time is for you to dissolve parliament and you and your party step down. It would be the honorable thing to do. Place your pride and ego aside for the greater good of the country and abdicate your position as PM. You have proven to the entire nation that you are not equipped nor capable of handling the complex task of governing our country. Don't get me wrong..... you are a very nice man..... however, this is not a popularity contest. It's obvious that you do not possess the leadership qualities nor the resolve needed to propel our country into the 21st century.

In fairness to you, Mr. Christie, leading a third world country is an extremely difficult task for one to undertake. And to be perfectly honest..... it's not an obligation that I personally would want to have. Nevertheless, you and your PLP party campaigned under the promise that you had practical solutions to our problems. You even went as far as to blame the FNM for the nation's crime crisis. You played on the ignorance of everyday Bahamians who operated in staunch stupidity when they voted you and your PLP into office. How ironic is it, that now these very same people find themselves unemployed; the victims of senseless crime; and the burden bearers of a new tax system that you and your party initiated? Could it be that the masses of Bahamian people are getting exactly what they deserve? Nonetheless, you have failed. And it's not fair to us (few) sensible, intelligent Bahamians who possess the ability to critically think and assess our country's situation, to suffer with the masses of fools because of their own inability to exercise prudence.

For our sake, please step down. I beg you.

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ThisIsOurs 5 years, 6 months ago

That was very well said. He does need to retire, it's time to go.

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Sickened 5 years, 6 months ago

Cobalt I couldn't have said it any better so I repeat (presumedly with Cobalt's permission)...

Yes, Mr. Christie...... we all hope that the resort comes on stream asap. However, in this case, hope and optimism is an indulgence that we cannot afford at this time.

What the Bahamas really needs at this time is for you to dissolve parliament and you and your party step down. It would be the honorable thing to do. Place your pride and ego aside for the greater good of the country and abdicate your position as PM. You have proven to the entire nation that you are not equipped nor capable of handling the complex task of governing our country. Don't get me wrong..... you are a very nice man..... however, this is not a popularity contest. It's obvious that you do not possess the leadership qualities nor the resolve needed to propel our country into the 21st century.

In fairness to you, Mr. Christie, leading a third world country is an extremely difficult task for one to undertake. And to be perfectly honest..... it's not an obligation that I personally would want to have. Nevertheless, you and your PLP party campaigned under the promise that you had practical solutions to our problems. You even went as far as to blame the FNM for the nation's crime crisis. You played on the ignorance of everyday Bahamians who operated in staunch stupidity when they voted you and your PLP into office. How ironic is it, that now these very same people find themselves unemployed; the victims of senseless crime; and the burden bearers of a new tax system that you and your party initiated? Could it be that the masses of Bahamians people are getting exactly what they deserve? Nonetheless, you have failed. And it's not fair to us (few) sensible, intelligent Bahamians who possess the ability to critically think and assess our country's situation, to suffer with the masses of fools because of their own inability to exercise prudence.

For our sake, please step down. I beg you.

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TheMadHatter 5 years, 6 months ago

Nice sounding words - but apparently this has not been a priority for him. Instead he has been focused on getting that additional 8 cents added to the bridge toll. Where does he find the spare time, one must wonder?

TheMadHatter

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Comrades PM, listen other voices.
Baha Mar has turned into a disaster for a private developer, so what makes you think it can become a winnable game for any government in power, all by reaching even deeper down into taxpayers pockets?
Your government couldn't even get a three million dollar Bamsi project up and running on the "right track." Even the "self-proclaimed Business-mineded" UBP/FNM when in power were still trying get Kelly Island or Arawak Cay, or whatever it's called today, into a operating success beyond an empty man-made land filled island, ugly as hell customs shed or of late a Fish Fry - where no vendor has pay they's rent?
Baha Mar comes with too many predictable certainties and none ain't no pretty picture, yet you honestly think, all will be cheerios, if only you and the Chinese, can get Izmirlian to show his face at a meeting next week?

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by TalRussell

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Sickened 5 years, 6 months ago

The damn developer is still trying to figure out what still needs to be done, and at what cost, and how long it will take and Christie is telling us it will be done by November? Granted he didn't say which November (this one or the next). I seriously doubt the Chapter 11 will be sorted out by November, especially with a pending lawsuit in England.

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Cobalt 5 years, 6 months ago

Exactly!

Once again the PM is setting up himself and the country for failure by sewing false hope. Smh

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Comrade Sickened, no argument here, the PM has made a number recent pledges to the natives about the progress of Baha Mar, and every single one was dead-on totally wrong. Think creditability PM?
What independent reports are in his hands that gives the nation's PM, such certainty that 95 per cent work is finished with just $300m needed for total completion? And, what shape is the work as to acceptable quality?
PM, if Izmirlian is in as good of a shape as being claimed, then shouldn't you leave it up to the "free market" to decided, if Baha Mar, or Izmirlian, is worth saving? Taxpayers are not Venture Capitalist.
PM don't you have concerns you may be walking taxpayers blindfolded into a project that has been widely reported to have been constructed with industry sub-standard workmanship and possibly inferior or environmentally unsafe materials as well? PM take one position, protect the titles to the people's lands - period!!

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John 5 years, 6 months ago

Strangely enough there was a report on BBC world news today that says there are people who target projects like Bah Mar and weak economies around the world. They create discourse or situations that cause the project to get into problems or to fall. Then they move in and try to buy in for pennies on the dollar. Then they sell for two or three times what they paid. This is happening now in Greece where many people are in a panic and willing to sell their holdings at half the value. Panic is also setting in China stocks, many of which fell by 30% in value overnight. The government had to step in and "put control" on the stock market.

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John 5 years, 6 months ago

Many people do not see Greece climbing out of its $263 trillion debt, at least not any time soon. Many expect the currency to devalue and hence the run on banks. Some people feel that it is safer to sink their money into other assets like jewelry gold coins or antiques that they feel will not lose value if banks fail or the money is devalued

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TalRussell 5 years, 6 months ago

Comrades, if the red shirts who showed up and abruptly exited the PMO, had any shame in left in their bones, they'd all resign their House of Assembly seats.

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SP 5 years, 6 months ago

Pm Hopes Baha Mar Will Open By Winter And Gold Rush Leprechaun Keep Promises

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="PM Christie's Leprechaun adviser remains elusive and tight lipped ">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">PM Christie's Leprechaun adviser remains elusive and tight lipped by SP

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