PM jumps for joy at Carnival agreement, Lovell says ‘hold the celebration’

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne expressed joy over the agreement between his government and Carnival Cruise Lines, but the political leader of United Progressive Party (UPP), Harold Lovell, said the agreement must be read for what it does not say.

Yesterday, Browne told OBSERVER media that government was extremely pleased to have come to an agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines, whereby its remaining vessels will continue to visit as scheduled. The PM also said he was looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the cruise line.

Browne said that due to a non-disclosure agreement with Carnival, he could not divulge any details on what exactly was agreed, but he was nevertheless pleased, generally, with the outcome.

However, Lovell said the agreement speaks more about what was not expressly stated in the press release.

“The important thing about this release is not what is says, but what is does not say. The language must be read carefully, as we continue to have lost about 100,000 passengers that are not coming back, causing severe hardships. The entire purpose of the mission to Miami was to ensure the return of the 35 ships that were cancelled which they failed to achieve,” he said.

Lovell said the situation was mishandled by the government and PM Browne was now eating his own words.

“The whole episode involving Global Ports was mishandled,” he said. “The Prime Minister made a statement that he is now eating; he called them [Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association] a cartel, but now calls them a great partner.”

He also added that there was nothing in the agreement mentioning Global Ports Holding (GPH), although the concession agreement with GPH stated that they should be the exclusive negotiator with cruise lines.

“We need answers as to why in the agreement there was no mention of Global Ports Holding, but [Carnival] will be dealing the government or government agent. This was strange because, in the concession agreement, Global Ports has the exclusive right to deal with the cruise lines. Therefore we hold that Global Ports has brought nothing to the table except trouble,” he said.

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