By Theresa Gordon
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has issued a stern warning to “individual or individuals” whom he claimed are “attempting to oppose” what he calls a prospective development for Antigua & Barbuda.
Browne said government will be putting up a fierce battle against such people.
“We have to be tolerant of people’s views; we want to encourage a diversity of views but when it comes to obstructionist politics we are going to make a determined stance to deal with those individuals,” Browne charged during an interview on the first edition of Observer PM yesterday.
“I also want to make it abundantly clear that those who may intend to become economic terrorists in this country, to block investment and retard the progress of the people of this country to keep our people unemployed, they would have to face the full extent of the law for any infractions whatsoever,” Browne warned.
The prime minister was making reference to the public outrage which surrounded two major projects – the proposed De Niro and Packer project on the sister island Barbuda and the US $120 million Callaloo Cay Resort at Morris Bay.
Earlier this month, during a highly confrontational meeting, Barbudans voted in favour of billionaire investors James Packer and Robert De Niro to embark on the US $250 million development of the K-Club.
But a day after the vote the opposition Barbuda Peoples Movement (BPM) announced its intention to file an injunction to have the decision overturned.
Days after the Barbuda vote, government officials met with residents of the Old Road Community to provide an in-depth overview of the proposed five-star luxury resort and adjoining facilities earmarked for Morris Bay.
But residents of the community were very vocal in their demands that Morris Bay be left untouched.
Browne said the government did not journey to Old Road seeking the approval of residents but rather to address their concerns.
“We went there to get a better understanding of their concerns and to make sure their concerns are addressed,” the prime minister said.
He also had a strong message for those whom he indicated “are abusing the court process”.
“I want to assure you that if those who took that particular project to court lose they have to pay every red cent otherwise we are going to bankrupt them. A firm message has to be sent,” Browne concluded.