The sentiments expressed by an investor suggesting that Grenada’s lone international airport be privatised, are not reflective of any Government position or policy on the matter.
Prime Minister Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell assured the nation during a live press conference on Thursday, that Naguib Sawiris, owner of Silversands Grenada, was not speaking on behalf of the Government, but rather in a private capacity, which he has a right to do.
Endorsing comments made earlier in the week by Civil Aviation Minister Honourable Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Dr Mitchell noted that many airports around the world are privatised but said there is no consideration to privatise Grenada’s own.
The Prime Minister said, “In no party meeting throughout my period of service in Government, no parliamentary session, no Cabinet meeting, has there been any discussion about privatisation of the Maurice Bishop International Airport. Does that mean a private sector individual does not have a right to advocate it? Of course, it is their right to express their feelings on philosophical issues but in so doing, they do not articulate the position of Government. I cannot tell the gentleman what he should or shouldn’t say, but the bottom line is, he cannot speak for the Government.”
Dr Mitchell further stated, “Are we going to say that everyone who comes here and speaks publicly, is speaking for the Government? I am amazed; I find it insulting honestly. I don’t see how you can imply that a statement made by a private individual reflects a Government policy. It means that the man controls the Government, which is nonsense. The people who advocate this obviously do not have a lot of respect for me or for the Government.”
The Prime Minister also cited a general lack of balance in media reports in these and other matters, and he recalled the likes of the late Leslie Pierre who was an exemplary journalist.