GEBE causes Heyliger’s sleepless nights

POSTED: 08/5/11 1:14 PM

“It leaves us in a serious predicament”

St. Maarten – Shareholder Representative for GEBE Theodore Heyliger has said that the company is giving him sleepless nights as he ponders how to get the management and board to submit information he’s requested that will prove the company is complying with its concession. Heyliger gave the management 60 days to submit the requested information in a letter dated July 19, but he’s now unsure that they’ll meet the deadline because the Managing Director has reportedly gone on vacation.

“I am made to understand from a letter that I received from the board that they have taken note of my request and I understand now, not confirmed, that the Director has taken off two months vacation so that would mean that I don’t know who is going to answer my many requests, but it leaves us in a serious predicament for what we can really do and what can we do that will not jeopardize the company per se other than again reminding management and board of their roles, especially where it concerns the concession for St. Maarten,” Heyliger said at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

One of the areas that Heyliger is particularly concerned about is the concerned protest by Saba and St. Eustatius over a provision in the concession that the company is not allowed to invest money earned in St. Maarten to cover losses or investments without the written consent of the Government of St. Maarten. The concession was accepted by the board, which has representatives of both Saba and St. Eustatius, and Heyliger believes that gives them a fiduciary responsibility towards the company and keeping up with agreements that have been with its largest population. He’s also used the occasion to repeat a call for the Dutch government to take responsibility for power generation in the two islands.

“I think this is a mere drop in the bucket or the big dam in Holland for Saba and Statia. One windmill that is probably placed in one of the cities in Holland could probably power the whole of Saba and Statia combined, so I don’t know why the Dutch government does not take the responsibility of handling the affairs of the electricity production on those two islands. We have stated again that we will do whatever is necessary to help, but understand that the responsibility is no longer that of St. Maarten to subsidize the two islands,” Heyliger said.

The Deputy Prime Minister has most recently shared his position with the Dutch Representative of the BES Islands Wilbert Stolte. In reply Stolte has laid out the Dutch government’s position.


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