The governments of Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda are to sit at the negotiating table in the coming days to determine how many shares will change hands, affecting the future of regional airline LIAT.
Chairman of the shareholder governments in the cash-strapped airline, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines confirmed to THE NATION by telephone on Thursday, that they were playing the waiting game even though Barbados has officially sent back correspondence to the Antigua and Barbuda government about its recent share offer.
“The Prime Minister of Barbados (Mia Mottley) has responded, and asked about what is the extent of their indebtedness with LIAT at the Caribbean Development Bank. I also spoke to the Prime Minister of Antigua (Gaston Browne) yesterday while he was in Suriname and he said they responded to the Government of Barbados, and through negotiations he (Browne) is hopeful they could come to a number which is appropriate in all the circumstances. They now have to negotiate what was sent in both letters,” Gonsalves revealed.
“We actually haven’t been able to meet as shareholder governments because we are waiting on Barbados and Antigua. It doesn’t make any sense, practically speaking, to have a shareholders’ meeting until Barbados and Antigua sort out this matter about the extent of what Antigua is going to take over to get the shares from Barbados. That’s where we are now,” Gonsalves added.