[Barbados] PM to speak on sale of LIAT shares in due time

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[Barbados] PM to speak on sale of LIAT shares in due time

Unread post by bimjim » Thu May 23, 2019

http://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content ... s-due-time

[Barbados] PM to speak on sale of LIAT shares in due time
Christina Smith
22 May 2019

Prime Minister, Mia Mottley is remaining tight-lipped on the announcement that government will be selling a significant portion of its shares in LIAT.

The news of the potential sale came from Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne who was quoted in the media as saying he had received correspondence from Mottley signalling plans to sell all but ten percent of its shares in LIAT. Browne said his country could potentially end up in the majority position if Barbados decides to sell.

Barbados is presently the majority shareholder, holding 49 percent and Antigua, 34 percent.

Speaking from government headquarters today, Mottley refused to confirm Browne’s comments regarding the potential sale.

“I do not shout across the Caribbean. I give the people of Barbados the assurance that when the Cabinet has reviewed and is in a position to be able to do so, I will speak in the place that we have grown accustomed to speaking, which is in Parliament. But I am not in the habit of sharing correspondence that I have written to anyone, far less colleagues, in the press before they have seen it.”

Mottley said while Barbados remains committed to regional air travel, she hinted that the current operation model of the airline.

“Barbados is committed to LIAT and regional air travel. We may not be committed to LIAT 1974 Ltd. and that is the fundamental difference. There is more than one way to do that which we have to do.

In respect to the details of the discussion, I am not going to disrespect the process and the people with whom we do business.”

The disclosure by PM Browne is the latest development in the ongoing financial woes affecting the regional airline. In March LIAT pilots were forced to take an almost ten percent pay cut.

Earlier this month it was announced that Grenada had become the fifth shareholder of the airline. The other shareholders, including Barbados and Antigua and Barbados, are Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Re: [Barbados] PM to speak on sale of LIAT shares in due time

Unread post by bimjim » Thu May 23, 2019

"I am not going to disrespect the process and the people with whom we do business.”


Tell you what, Madam PM, how about YOU respect instead - all those people all those taxpayers up and down the islands and up and down the years - who have been "respected" by politicians by being substantially ignored for the last 50 years? Those who asked for annual accounts of the airline and were told such were none of their business - and had no recourse?

And how do you feel being so "respectful" when all the other PMs are flapping their mouths off trying to keep their own people informed - while you just look like you are stone-walling your citizens?

It's a "pappy show", Madam PM, a solid "pappy show", and any adult thinking person would see that in five seconds - especially with all the usual poppits and clowns prancing around. To dignify your crowd, just get rid of the fat short one who never seems to stop boasting.

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[LIAT, Barbados] ‘Bye, bye, LIAT?’

Unread post by bimjim » Thu May 23, 2019

https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/05/23/bye-bye-liat/

[LIAT, Barbados] ‘Bye, bye, LIAT?’
May 23, 2019

The Barbados Government appeared today set to walk away from its role as lead shareholder in the cash-strapped airline, LIAT, even as the Prime Minister remains tight-lipped on negotiations over its future.

Briefly breaking silence on a steady stream of reports from Antigua that her administration was negotiating the sale of its shares to the government in St John’s, where the airline is based, the Prime Minister would only say that the airline is still willing to support the struggling carrier, but not in its current format.

In a cryptic response to journalists’ questions, the Prime Minister said: “Barbados is committed to LIAT and regional air travel [but] we may not be committed to LIAT 1974 and that’s the fundamental difference.

“There’s more than one way to do that which we have to do, but at the appropriate time with respect to the details of any discussions, I’m not going to disrespect the process and the people with whom we do business. There’s a right way to do things and I will follow that right way.”

Mottley’s comments today are the first indication that the Barbados Government may have been wavering for weeks over its decades-long policy of unswerving commitment to the airline’s viability, which had been backed by repeated calls by successive administrations to ffellow Eastern Caribbean governments to either subsidise the carrier or join as shareholders.

Even as Mottley refused to comment on speculation about the future of Barbados’ ownership, declaring she has no intention of negotiating in public, her Antiguan counterpart, Gaston Browne, has claimed that Barbados has agreed to sell all but ten per cent of its shares in LIAT. This followed a formal bid for shares made a month ago, on which the Mottley administration neither confirmed nor denied.

Browne reported on Sunday that Antigua and Barbuda had received communication from Mottley that Barbados was willing to shrink its majority 49 per cent stake to a mere ten per cent. If the sale goes through, it would result in Antigua and Barbuda becoming the majority shareholder in LIAT with 73 per cent of shares. Today, Mottley gave her assurance that Barbados was still willing to support LIAT, but hinted that it would not continue to do so under its current ownership arrangements.

When questioned by journalists as to if Barbados had indeed sold its shares to Antigua and Barbuda, the Prime Minister said she would not speak on the issue publicly at this time. She had also given a similar response when she spoke at the Barbados Employers’ Confederation annual general meeting last week.

Mottley said when the time was right she would use the floor of Parliament to speak to the people of Barbados. “I do not shout across the Caribbean Sea and if that is an article of faith for me last week it is still an article of faith for me today.

“I give you the assurance and the people of Barbados that when the Cabinet has reviewed and is in a position to be able to do so, that I will speak in the place to which we have become accustomed to speaking, which is the Parliament of Barbados, that I will speak to the people of Barbados, but I am not in the habit of sharing correspondence that I have written to anyone, far less colleagues of heads, in the press before they have seen it and I don’t think there is anything which would cause me to alter those basic precepts of behaviour that I consider dear.”

Up until this point, there has been no publicly expressed indication that Barbados was rethinking its ownership of the 63-year-old airline, co-owned with Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and The Grenadines and Dominica.

In mid-March, the chairman of shareholders, Vincentian leader Dr Ralph Gonsalves, made an urgent appeal for a cash injection of $10 million (US$5 million) to keep the airline in the skies, while promoting a minimum revenue guarantee, beyond which LIAT would drop flights on unprofitable routes.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell then indicated it would make a $2 million (US$1 million) cash contribution and would pay additional funds based on load factors into St George’s.

Tourism Minister Kerrie Symmonds said that as a major shareholder in LIAT, Barbados remained interested in keeping it flying but it “won’t be the lone ATM machine” for the airline.

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