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Gonsalves says Eustace’s investment claims bogus

Gonsalves says Eustace’s investment claims bogus

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Prime Minister and leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) has questioned the legitimacy of the claims made by President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) that he (Eustace) will complete the international airport at Argyle and will be involved in other large scale projects, should his party be elected to office.{{more}}

On Saturday, December 4, Eustace, at an emergency press conference, indicated that, among other things, ‘a major international construction group capable of undertaking large scale infrastructure projects will partner with an NDP administration to finally get the Argyle airport into a state of readiness,’ and that the airport will be completed in a timely fashion only if the NDP is voted into power following the December 13 general elections.

When pressed, Eustace indicated that due to confidentiality agreements, he was unable to disclose the firms and investors.

“… It’s a fiction…They have no company… everything about it is a contrivance.” Dr. Gonsalves said at a press conference which took place on Tuesday, December 7, at Cabinet Room.

“Nobody comes at 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon to make an announcement about a policy change. A policy change of this nature would have been in the works and which we would have heard talk about.”

The Prime Minister, who had called his press conference to discuss his party’s manifesto which was unveiled the previous Sunday at Victoria Park, put forward the claim that the announcements made by the Opposition Leader were just an election gimmick instituted by their campaign consultants Strategic Communications Limited (SCL)

“The gentleman, Mr. Hughes, who is their campaign director from SCL, told them that their manifesto was a piece of ‘S H dot dot’, and decided with his colleagues in England to write a fictional ten point plan. That’s what it is.”

“Right now they are trying to pull apart their manifesto at the printers in Trinidad to include some of these fictions… they have to rewrite several sections because the fiction has to meet up with the reality.”

I would look forward greatly to reading this document, because I am sure that at the last moment, they are going to find great difficulty editing it very well and we are going to see some contrast between the fiction and the reality.”

According to Gonsalves, should such a company exist and were they to complete the airport, at the end of the day, the government would have paid billions of dollars to that company.

He questioned the timing of Eustace’s remarks on the airport, saying that the NDP leader had more than five years to determine what would be done concerning the construction of the country’s largest national project, and highlighted some of the NDP’s arguments against the construction of the airport at Argyle.

“And now, one week before the elections he changes his position,” Gonsalves noted.

The Prime Minister touched briefly on some of the other points raised by Eustace in Saturday’s press conference, questioning whether the assertions made by his political rival are to be taken seriously.

He said that he expected Eustace to submit his resignation at the end of the elections, when he is defeated by Luke Browne.

“To ask me to delve into the logic of something which is wholly fictional would be to engage me in an exercise of absurdity.

“On the face of it, would you expect them to tell you the name of the construction company?”

“The people know that I will deliver the airport. Man who start airport must finish airport….” (JJ)

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