Port Manager Telemaque says that Government is prepared for any challenges that the sale of the Alfa Nero might create

Following the controversial sale of the Alfa Nero last Friday, June 16,
Darwin Telemaque, manager of the Port Authority, says the
Government is prepared for any challenges that might be ahead.

The vessel has a new owner in the person of Eric Schmidt, a former
CEO of Google and a software engineer, who reportedly resides in
New York. 

However, other interested parties had filed applications in the
courts for at least two emergency injunctions, challenging the
Government’s acquisition of the luxury yacht.

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Appeal considered one
application that same morning, but denied the request. However, it
left room for the applicants to file an appeal and for judicial review.
Telemaque says he is cognizant of the challenges that could
be ahead; but the Browne Administration will meet and address
them as they come, he declares.

Meanwhile, the Port manager says he is pleased that the
Government has executed what it had to do, and that there is a new
owner of the Alfa Nero. The owner, he says, is now responsible for
getting the vessel ready and removing it from Falmouth Harbour,
where it has been docked since February 2022.

Telemaque is hoping that this can be done quickly, since the Atlantic
hurricane season has already begun, and forecasters are currently
monitoring a system that could pose a risk to Antigua and Barbuda
and other Caribbean islands.

According to the Port Authority head, it is important that the public
understand that – if there had been other means to remove the
threat the yacht posed to the environment and to the harbour – the
Administration would have deployed it.

However, he says, the acquisition and sale were the only mechanism
the Government had. Now that the vessel will be moving, thereby
abating any risks, the Government is happy, he says.

Telemaque says he is also pleased that certain persons stood up and
came forward to allow the Government to effect the sale of the Alfa
Nero, and that the final bid – which was US$67.6 million – far
exceeded the Administration’s expectations.
The vessel had been priced at US $60 million.

Meanwhile, Damani Tabor, public relations officer for the United
Progressive Party, says the Government should take to Parliament a
supplementary budget, so that the Nation can be informed on how
the sale receipts will be spent.