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Minnis Condemns ‘False Hope’ Being Sold Over Baha Mar

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Dr Hubert Minnis

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis has hit out at the Christie administration for continuing to “sell false hope” over the stalled Baha Mar resort, as thousands of the hotel’s former employees remain out of work and Bahamian contractors are owed millions.

In a statement released last night, Dr Minnis said Prime Minister Perry Christie “is a proven talk first, think later leader.”

He added: “As a result of the government’s missteps, Baha Mar has become a national burden and an international embarrassment for our country. Former Baha Mar board members have repeatedly presented the facts that connect Christie and his government’s poor decision-making which created this daunting delay saga. At a time when so many Bahamians are hurting, we have a prime minister shuffling in dreamland, detached from the glaring realities. We need change.”

Dr Minnis said at the core of his party’s platform is empowerment of Bahamians and entrepreneurship.

“A newly elected FNM government will strengthen foreign investment policies to ensure that what occurred at Baha Mar is not repeated. While strategic efforts will be made by a newly elected FNM government to attract global investors, the ‘new Bahamas’ cannot be so desperately dependent on foreign investment.”

“The FNM government will create opportunities to promote and enhance more Bahamian ownership.”

Last week, Mr Christie said there are a “huge number” of internationally recognisable corporate names interested in investing in Baha Mar and he is doing “all he can” to ensure construction is restarted “very soon.”

Speaking at the swearing in ceremony of Paul Andrew Gomez as the new Bahamas ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mr Christie said he has also been meeting with representatives from the China Export Import Bank, to ensure Bahamian employees and construction workers are protected.

Mr Christie said he fears if the project is not restarted in the near future, the cost to complete the hotel would double.

“I have been meeting with representatives of the employees, particularly casino employees who have had a number of meetings with me, whose employee benefits expire in two weeks time and therefore pending mortgage challenges are an issue. I have been meeting with the China Exim Bank to ensure employees are protected,” Mr Christie said last week.

“There are a huge number of very internationally recognisable corporate names interested in the product, who have made applications for the product, those will be brought to your attention because it is for the bank to make a decision, including both hotel casino firms, and Bahamian interests that are here and including Chinese interest in the huge multi-billion dollar project.

“It makes no sense to allow that asset to continue to be exposed to the elements and be subject to deterioration because what starts off as a $300m exercise will end up costing $600m or $700m and counting.”

Reiterating comments he told the press weeks ago, he said: “So for The Bahamas we have a situation where the construction company has taken the position that it does not want to start construction without paying their subcontractors and that includes the Bahamian subcontractors. And I’ve argued that I’m not prepared to accept that those contractors will be paid less than a dollar for a dollar for the work performed. So I’m anticipating that 2016, very early in 2016 that we’re going to have a major move for Baha Mar.”

However, Dr Minnis said the prime minister should “stop shuffling with empty optimism on the Baha Mar matter and offer greater substance and sensitivity.”

He added that Mr Christie’s “false predictions make a mockery of the situation and the Bahamian people.”

Comments

Tarzan 5 years, 10 months ago

All predictable. Liquidation has proved an insoluble disaster just as all who knew anything about this situation foretold. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put back together again, no matter how much our P.M. 'huffs and puffs". Liquidation controlled by Bahamian Courts, was however the only way to keep an honest, and transparent, third party from exposing all the insider dealings in which PLP insiders were engaged. That was something the sitting government could not permit to occur.

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GrassRoot 5 years, 10 months ago

I hate to say it, but Minnis talks like the current P.M. talked a few years ago. Get real. Bahamian ownership will happen, if Bahamians cough up their money (that they hoard in foreign banks).

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TruePeople 5 years, 10 months ago

Grassroot, all a dem is the same. Bunch a loud mouth. If Minnis have so much to criticize why he don't have anything positive to offer? Wasn't he sitting back and letting all this go to hell same way as an MP, or you telling me just because he's leader of the opposition he's powerless??!?!

When the day comes that our politicians actually work together to better the country will be a good one. Right now they think they're all in a stage show trying to compete against each other of the award of king of the sh!t pile.

All they seem to care about is their own egos, and have nothing positive to contribute to the country or our state of affairs.

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Honestman 5 years, 10 months ago

"Mr. Christie said he fears if the project is not restarted in the near future, the cost to complete the hotel would double."

If Mr. Christie had been more neutral and persuaded China not to oppose the Chapter 11 filing then the resort might have been ready to open by now. As it is, this resort will not open in 2016 regardless of the Prime Minister's bluster. Tragic for the 2000 employees and for the country.

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TruePeople 5 years, 10 months ago

this hotel may never open bey... when someone gone admit that...?

How long before we could get some jobs round here doing demolition work on Cable beach??????????????????????????

I guess the previous BahaMar workers need to get paid off first, so maybe this building will go the way off all the rotting historical buildings downtown. Because guess what.... it's better to rot in the Bahamas

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Honestman 5 years, 10 months ago

You could be right. There is a real possibility the resort may never open.

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asiseeit 5 years, 10 months ago

Well the P.M. and Fly away Fred say they need a new P.M's residence, HOA, and offices for the M.P's. Perry and the band of thieves should just ask China to give Bah-Mar to government as a gift and then move ALL government offices to Bah-mar. We should also turn part of the campus into our new prison, so the stealing M.P.s don't have far to go once we catch them.

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John 5 years, 10 months ago

If Izmirilian was the problem, like they wanted you to believe, then the problem should be moving forward by now. Obviously there are other problems that cause potential investors to get cold feet and walk away from the project. With all the major brands gone the hotel has lost value. How does $3.5 billion look sitting idle? Someone really dropped the ball even more than once.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 10 months ago

Mr; Izmirilian run into financial problems. and it is my hope that the Doctor knows that no matter what government was in power they could not prevent what happened. it is as simple as that. But the Doctor has given the news media a new pose. unlike the one he had speaking in the house mouth wide open and arms all over the place. But it will not help him. Butler Turner will run all over him very soon.

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kaytaz 5 years, 10 months ago

This birdie person really makes no sense.no matter what the plp and Christie do she still doesnt see anything wrong. This is why we are in trouble as a country right now.at least be able to calla spade a spade

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Reality_Check 5 years, 10 months ago

You're one of the few posting comments to this website who does not know who 'birdiestrachan' is.

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