Heyliger switches from UTS to TelEm

POSTED: 08/25/11 12:55 PM

“From now on I am eating locally”

St. Maarten – Vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger ditched his UTS Blackberry and switched to a 3G phone from government-owned telecom provider TelEm this week. Heyliger made the move in a reaction to statements made by Curacao’s Telecom Minister Charles Cooper, who refuses to give St. Maarten two seats on the UTS-board, claiming that this would be akin to letting the competition sit in his board room.
“St. Maarten is looked upon as the spy who came to dinner,” Heyliger said, referring to a movie with this title, but he possibly meant The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
The vice PM said Cooper apparently thinks St. Maarten wants seats on the UTS-board to be able to tell TelEm what they are up to. “I asked to get the new 3G telephone from TelEm. I will be eating locally and not with the enemy,” Heyliger said. “I wish TelEm well because they now have a new customer.”
Justice Minister Duncan, St. Maarten’s shareholder representative in UTS said that Cooper has refused to give St Maarten two seats on the UTS-board and that he has deflected a request to get a pay out the island’s share in the company’s 15.1 million 2010 profit by referring the case to the government accountant bureau BAB for advice. “He is not getting any dividend himself without paying us our share,” Duncan said. “If we don’t get it, we reserve our right to sell our 13 percent share in UTS to anybody who offers the right price, and that is not necessarily Curacao.”
Heyliger said that, while technically UTS is the fitting strategic partner for TelEm, the combination will not come under consideration “as long as we are looked upon in Curacao as a spy.”

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