PHILIPSBURG:— Minister of Health Emil Lee chose to lie to the people of St. Maarten on Wednesday during the Council of Minister’s press briefing when he said that INSO and Condotte are not bankrupt and St. Maarten General Hospital will not be affected by the financial problems the parent company is facing in Italy.
Since the bankruptcy was filed in Italy Bane NOR has terminated two EPC contracts awarded to Societa Italiana per Condotte d’ Acqua S.p.A (Condotte) on the Follo Line project has been terminated by Bane NOR due to the contractor’s recent financial problems. Bane NOR will reclaim control of the contracts.
Bane NOR further stated that in their opinion any further cooperation with Condotte in this situation would involve a high risk and to secure the economy, quality and progress of the Follo Line Project the two contracts have been terminated.
Bane NOR’s primary concern is to complete the Follo Line Project to a high standard and within the given budget at the end of 2021, therefore they took immediate actions to achieve their goals and objectives. Bane NOR further stated that Condotte is in debts to several of their subcontractors and this has led to a full stop in the construction work, says David Borenstein, the project director of Follo Line Project. Since the summer of 2017 Bane NOR has monitored the financial situation of Condotte and has been in close contact with top management in Rome on a regular basis. On January 8th, 2018 Condotte filed for protection against bankruptcy at a court in Italy and their request was approved. According to the contract, Bane NOR demanded that the construction work continues as normal while Condotte works on restructuring the company, in spite of their request the construction work halted. Bane NOR further stated that by Condotte has not fulfilled their commitments, Condotte left Bane NOR with no other option than to terminate the two contracts to ensure progress and to limit the economic consequences to Follo Line Project.
Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel said he spoke with officials from the Central Bank of Italy and Borenstine after hearing what Minister Lee said on Wednesday. Emmanuel said he is deeply concerned about the New General Hospital and the people’s money, especially since the Minister said that Condotte is not bankrupt. He asked if Condotte is not bankrupt why did they have asked for protection against bankruptcy. Emmanuel said the Norweigians puled two contracts from Condotte to secure their economy and project. The Member Parliament said he wants to know what the Central Bank of St. Maarten and Curacao is doing since it is their responsibility to oversee the spending of monies of APS. Emmanuel said the Central Bank has to oversee APS spending and they are also overseeing Ennia’s pension funds. Emmanuel said everyone knows that APS is one of the partners in the construction of the New General Hospital and he felt that the Government as well as the Governor St. Maarten to put a halt on the New General Hospital project until further clarity can be given regarding INSO and is financial troubles. Emmanuel said he recently read that Ansari is not cooperating with new controllers of Ennia and he is worried since NIB bank is an affiliate of Ennia who was part of the signing of the agreement for the New General Hospital. Emmanuel said the overall picture shows that Condotte the parent company of INSO is in financial problems, while Ennia the parent company of NIB is also in financial woes all of whom are linked to Minister Emil Lee, the Democratic Party, and the New General Hospital.
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