SENATOR MICHAEL HALKITIS RESPONDS D’Aguillar

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Sen. Michael Halkitis

SENATOR MICHAEL HALKITIS RESPONDS
TO FORMER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CHIEF

2nd February 2011

As a member of the Progressive Liberal Party I wish to assure Mr. D’Aguillar in particular and the Bahamian public at large that the position of the Progressive Liberal Party to aggressively renegotiate the terms of the agreement to sell BTC to Cable and Wireless is not an empty promise nor is it political pandering as he has claimed. It is also not rubbish. (See Tribune Business Section 2nd February). That kind of loose talk by the former President of the Chamber of Commerce is simply unbecoming.

The position of the Progressive Liberal Party as articulated by the leader of the PLP in his recent address in Grand Bahama that the PLP will seek to renegotiate the provisions of the deal to sell BTC that it finds repugnant to the national interest is one that has been arrived at after careful study and due deliberation. I support it and so do my colleagues. We are quite surprised at the former Chamber President’s ill considered statement.

We would have thought that the former President would support a programme of developing a share owning democracy as being in the best interest of the Chamber’s members. We hope that the Chamber does not share his ill considered views.

Further, as detailed in the statement of Mr. Christie, there is precedent in the country for the renegotiation of agreements that are repugnant to the national interest. This has happened in the case of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. Upon assuming office, the PLP renegotiated the terms of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement because it found the delegation of the powers of immigration control to a private company to be repugnant to the national interest. The PLP negotiated that change which came into effect in 1969 which saw the Grand Bahama Port Authority return immigration control to the Bahamian people where it rightly belonged. The PLP told the owners of the Port in advance that it would do so and it did.

The PLP made the same principled point to the developers of the then proposed Clifton Cay and when we came to office we changed the deal in the national interest.

We are doing the same now with Cable and Wireless. There must be a general election within 15 months or so. The former President would do well to get on the right side of history in this matter.

(Senator Haliktis served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance from 2002 to 2007).

  • Could some one explain to why the Government would sell BTC to a company that is less than one year old with a debt of over 900 million dollars?

    It’s first annual report since it’s formation after the demerger in March 2010 is due MArch 31st 2011.

    You can find this info on their website (cable and wireless interim report 2010-2011)

    C&W have had more than 6 CEOs in Jamaica in the last 5 years…..according to reports, C&W have been entertaining the possible sale of their Caribbean market to Carlos Slim the owner of Mexico based America Movil telephone company for years.

  • @newsman
    My 2Meg DLS works fine. During the hurricanes in GB as long as my generator or my ups held, my DSL worked, unlike some of my friends with Coralwave (powered through boxes on the poles) who was down for weeks. Like everything else if you want faster connections pay for it. Ask BTC for Metro they will run fiber to your house if you have a need for speed.

    If you have $170 Million cash in the bank, turning over $300 Million, and $500 to $600 Millions in assets….. what is your question again about buying power? when you only need 1 core switch for cellular and 1 core switch for international switching of land lines.

    With 300+ thousand cell phones in their system in a country of 350 thousand people where else in the region you can find penetration like that. If you want 3G ask the government to allow BTC to offer CDMA to the public it’s been in the Bahamas since 2005. While you’re at it ask them to lower the cost per minute. The PM can call Mr. Griffen and by Monday it could be 8 cents.
    I suggest you take some time and read the article at this link:
    http://www.eurojournals.com/irjfe_28_06.pdf
    on the effects of Privatization on the social fabric.

    • Jokes. DSL in the Bahamas sucks. I have tons of clients and we have been switching them from DSL to Coralwave almost daily – just because one account works does not mean the majority does. For the same speed and features of Coralwave you gotta pay BTC a fortune, forget it, they are so backwards it is pathetic.

  • lovewaxcold

    Ya mean all some people care about is getting modern communications company regardless of the cost to the nation….WOW….what a sad time.

  • jay

    @ larry
    D’Auguillar doesn’t care about what’s going to happen to the Bahamian under C&W. He has the money off the backs of the poor to keep himself insulated.
    Well, I work in an organization run by Europeans that has a satellite office in the Cayman Islands. Close to 100 people work in our office and they laugh at us when they heard that C&W would be coming here. Most of them chose Digicel and they all complain about C&W lousy service. One of our coworkers who lived in Turks also told us how expensive it is to have a land line for his elderly parents who can’t use a cell phone. Let Mr. D’Auguillar chime in when people can’t go to Superwash because they have to use their disposable income to keep their landlines on or when they keep getting robbed by the hundreds of men who will lose their jobs but still have a family to care for. I doubt he would be singing C&W praises then. How totally self serving of him but that’s no surprise.

    • Maybe CW will implement DSL that actually works and is not 10 years old technology? Thus giving us actual competition to Coralwave – which there is none right now. Maybe they will implement working pay phones around the country, which we have little of right now – wow then there would be less need for a brain tumorous cell phone. Maybe in 3 years other companies like AT&T may decide to come here. Right now Batelco has a bad track record and no buying power to speak of. Anything will be better. As to “hundreds of men who will loose their jobs”, there are many in the Bahamas that SHOULD NOT be working in the service industry to begin with, I suggest they go get a job working in the back of a warehouse so they dont have to be so rude to customers – and this goes for more than just BTC. Some Bahamians just automatically THINK they deserve a certain job and pay, ridiculous. When they enter the private sector or have to work for themselves to make a living then perhaps they will learn that life is not that easy. Regardless of that, anything to get a modern communication company with modern Internet services in here would be acceptable.

    • Jay, you are the same guy who keeps posting under different names about people laughing at us and how our elderly will suffer with paying per minute for individual usage instead of the flat monthly fee. You are a frickin communist aren’t you. People need to learn to take care of themselves not depend on government or expect successful people to redistribute their wealth through BS social justice (stealing). SMT

  • I can respect the point of view of Mr. D’Auguillar, he is a businessman par excellence, and is more concerned with business than with politics. And unlike politicians, he will say what he really believes, not what is politically popular, like what politicians will do. In fact he criticized the present govt. for the tax increases and useless spending on roads, so he seems to be someone who will call it as he sees it, unlike politicians who will only say and do what they believe is popular to curry favor for the next election.

  • WHY EVERYTIME FNM **** UP YAL ALWAYS OPEN UP YALL STINK MOUTH AND TRY PUT PLP IN IT. PLP IS THE PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE IF YA HEAD WASN’T STUCK SO FAR UP YA BUTT YOU WILL KNOW THAT ENJOY DA FEW MOUNTHS LEFT.INGRUM HURRY UP RING THAT BELL PLZZZZ.

    • media

      Newsman we expect you to withdraw your comment [ABOVE] and have to deleted with an apology forthcoming IMMEDIATELY or this post and all future posts – from your from your computer to our server – will be BLOCKED for good. NOW YOU DECIDE!

      BP

    • NOT QUITE MY CHOICE OF WORDS… BUT MY POINT EXCACTLY.. YOUE… GET MY VOTE

  • c&w sure have alot of them in they porket you think the FMN care about whats best for bahamians they don’t. my lord plenty going down with ing-rum these people clearly think we stupid. but them goons will find out in short order. from this man was in power he was dissing us i know so much fnm they so upset with they party trust me they gone. plz ing-rum ring da bell plzzzzzz.

    • Bab

      Porket? All are playing politics and the sooner Bahamians realize this the better. Under the former admin. BTC was about to be sold fictiously! When are we gonna call a spade a spade in this country? Goodman’s Bay was also about to be sold! It’s who can sell first and feeding into ignorance makes us just as bad! Stop arguing about this sale for Christ sake PLEASE, it will happen and we need to make the best out of it. Polititians are looking at up coming elections and THAT IS IT! Geeee this is really sickening me………Peter ain no better than Paul. One leader makes decisions and the other one DOESN’T!

      • Bab

        Sorry POLITICIANS!

  • Since the layoffs at many business places unemployed persons have become phone card vendors thus lightening the burden on the Govt in disbursing funds thru their various entities.Christie was correct in assuring these entrepreneurs that he is returned as PM the deal with this present proposed buyer would be renegotiated.Surprisingly what has not been addressed is the fate of the hundreds of vendors in GB and NP.who sustain their families by engaging in selling phone cards by retail/wholesale.Am thrilled that Sen Halkitis as a face for the future has taken on the ill timed remarks by the former President of the Chamber of Commerce.

    • What rubberish. This man should have the right as a citizen of the Bahamas to express his view on any issue of national importance. Why has the PLP decided to issue a response to the view of a private citizen, as this man is no longer in the public domain.