Political party Raiz, called for a manifestation yesterday under the tree, on the beach, south of the Riu Antillas, a popular weekend picnic destination for local families.
The usual suspects showed up, the turtle lady, the bird man, the chanting yoga teacher and Marjory Vermeer, who makes her opinions known on social media. Speed. How can I neglect to mention Speed?
Ursell Arends, at the helm of the party spoke well.
He demanded a Moratorium on the construction of additional hotel rooms AND integrity in government, in view of the recent government announcement, September 19th, 2018, that a St. Regis Hotel is coming our way.
GOA announced the new project with mild fanfare recently, signing a MOU with the brand representatives. That MOU is now a document waiting to be leaked.
What was already leaked this week is an official 4-page letter to attorney Johan Sjim Fat, signed by the former MinTour, Mike de Meza, and the former MinInfra, Benny Sevinger, ONE WEEK BEFORE LAST YEAR’S ELECTIONS, regarding a petition to amend conditions of long-lease domain land issued by Caledonia Properties NV, the former Starwood Vacation Ownership Resort that almost built here ten years ago, just before the global financial crisis.
The project to the south of Riu Antillas was abandoned as a result.
And because Marriott International has recently acquired Starwood, the letter states that the plan to develop a 4 or 5 start hotel & casino on that parcel, is basically welcome, and that the government WILL consider the change of ownership and agree in principle to all amendments.
The Letter of Intent, however states that it is NONBINDING IN NATURE and subject to negotiation.
As mentioned before, that letter was signed on AUGUST 27th, 2017, one week before the elections which makes it further nonbinding.
SO, WHY DID GOA SPRING THE ST. REGIS CONSTRUCTION PROJECT ON US, IF ALL PAPERWORK IS NONBINDING??
They could have opted out of the deal.
It makes no sense. It is clearly against the will of the people who want NO MORE LARGE HOTELS and against ATA’s recommendation which advocates: “A different management of our human, natural and cultural resources, imperative, in order to avoid entering in a cycle of diminishing returns.”
In a recent World Tourism Day speech, the ATA CEO, Ronella Tjin Asjoe Croes recommended a ‘high value-low impact tourism growth model,’ stirring away from large developments and a ‘volume driven tourism growth model.’
WHO LEAKED THE DOCUMENT? Perhaps the former MinInfra, to prove GOA could have opted out, OR the POR fraction in parliament, to prove their hands are clean, they did not do it.
Integrity in government: Ursell Arends asked a good question, how come three different MinInfra over the past 20 years accuse each other of corruption and malfeasance in the public sector without any of it being ever investigated??
As I said, this is a good question.