Editorial: Beautiful present

POSTED: 07/30/14 7:26 PM

The trouble at Caravanserai is not over yet. A third auction is scheduled, and the bank that wants to recoup its investment this way is confronted with the baffling circumstances surrounding the sale of the Dunes Casino to the Corallo-company IFPS.

Last year the court ruled that there was no sale – though IFPS paid $1.5 million to Caravanserai owner Kildare Properties – because the seller had failed to ask the government permission to split the property’s long lease.

Lo and behold, on June 27, Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake signed a decision that approves this split – more than three years after IFPS took ownership of the casino. One condition: the lease canon skyrockets from 1 penny to 8 guilders per square meter.

A beautiful present in election time, the bank’s attorney mused. True or false, that present could still backfire if the court decides next week that the auction can proceed as planned. It will leave IFPS virtually empty-handed, and one minister at least a little bit embarrassed.

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