Economic Affairs Minister Meyers strikes back “Our government fell because of greed”

POSTED: 05/10/12 4:07 PM

Minister Meyers seconded by Cedric Peterson at the press conference

St. Maarten – “I won’t tolerate people accusing me of things I have not done,” departing Economic Affairs Minister Franklin Meyers said yesterday afternoon at a press conference in the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall. “As an appointed minister I did not do anything to disrupt this coalition. There were many things I had to tolerate and now the worst fear has become a reality. I cannot blame myself or my colleagues; we were appointed to do a job and I believe we had a stable government.”

Meyers announced that, since he now has nothing to do for the next two years, he will start campaigning. “I left politics in 2007, but I will run in the elections in 2014,” he said.

Meyers had harsh words for now independent MP Romain Laville and other MPs who brought about the fall of the UP/DP-government.

The minister said that he had not called his press conference to whine. “I am here today to let people know that we have worked hard during the past 19 months. I don’t want sympathy, but there have been a lot of rumors that warrant clarity.”

One of the sore points among these rumors are accusations that, as Meyers expressed it, “all government contracts went to my life partner Brenda Wathey – like the catering at the airport and the taxi concessions at the port. These are blatant lies. As an appointed member of the government it was not my role to put that government in jeopardy. I have been targeted to the point where I could not defend myself. Now I am asking for the proof for these allegations. I want to see proof that all those contracts went to Brenda Wathey. I am telling you, when I go home there is one thing I do and that is to sleep well. All these stories about corruption – for instance that Brenda has shares in the Pelican Resort – are not true. Let somebody say this publicly and I’ll let my lawyers loose on them.”

Meyers said, addressing Romain Laville directly, that he is the one who went to Las Vegas to see a boxing match. “But I did it on my own expenses and I did not lose a $1,000 because I did not bet on that match. I challenge them all: prove that these statements they are making about Brenda are true. If they do that I am guilty as charged, but they won’t be able to prove it.”

Meyers charged that the UP/DP-government fell “because of greed” and that because if this “St. Maarten is moving to a dangerous place. They’re only worried about their self-interest.”

Meyers said that the new government “is not going to last seven months” and that the sole motive of the new coalition members is “to fill their pockets.”

The minister said that he will be going into a two-year retirement. “I’ll be paid, but I won’t have the stress, and these expenses are going to burden the budget.”

Meyers said that his record shows that he has always been there for the people. “I used to live in Pelican but I have built a house in Sucker Garden and I live there now. I am a true Sucker Garden man and I am proud of it.”

Meyers said that the media ought to pay special attention if in the future a deal with American Eagle comes up. Apparently, MPs have been pushing for a deal with the airline whereby St. Maarten would pump $100 million into the company in exchange for 49 percent of the shares. “And the principal would contribute nothing,” Meyers scoffed.

He criticized Laville for his role in bringing the government down. “How can somebody with 186 votes to his name do something like that? He does not even have 1 percent of the vote.”

Meyers also severely criticized the parliament. “In 19 months,” he said, “name me one piece of legislation this parliament came up with to better the lives of the people in St. Maarten. Laville wanted to put a full stop on the issuing of work permits. That is simply not possible. It would force companies to close, and then locals would lose their jobs as well.”

 

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