Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Seychelles Column - By Christopher Gill

Going, Going, Down Fast!

Seychelles economic situation under President James Michel is going, going, down fast!

All of Michel's projections since being elected to office are as good as trash in the bin.

Toss It!

Toss the Strategy 2017 Book of doubling GDP in 10 years. Only six years left and things do not look very pretty as we reach this milestone. Michel is going to say, everything would have been fine but for this, but that did not happen, this did not happen.

Toss the grand ideas of FDI of $2 Billion that Michel would throw in our face after a meeting with this sheik or that King. Those numbers are gone for Michel's remaining lifetime. As long as Michel remains now, no FDI will come our way since he is tagged with the flight of FDI. He will not reverse this trend.

Toss the oil rig and discovery of oil in Seychelles. The seismic data indicate only one thing, it is deep, deep down somewhere, where we cannot reach it with any reasonable amount of money in the $300 Million range to just start. Furthermore unless oil prices on international market hit over $90.00 and remain, this dream is not viable financially.

Toss the idea of making us all rich with one man at the helm. Michel has misled the people of Seychelles. Worse to be hit are the poorest in terms of access to food and essentials over the coming years. But Business investors are also taking a beating of a lifetime, as Michel's Government drives Seychelles economy in four wheel drive reverse. This is the man SPPF said was competent, capable and would bring continuity to progress. By the time Michel leaves us for retirement, we will be fighting for coconuts. 


In his State of The Nation Address in 2009, Michel said Tourism Revenues will drop to -25% perhaps in 2009. He was wrong. Today, Tourism revenues are registering a -40% decline. As I responded to his SONA, I was on point asserted revenues will be down by at least, he was off base again. Testimony to SPPF why they should learn to listen to the Opposition and clear thinkers of the Country. We do not lap lick your boots, and we tell you like it is. You should get use to this free-minded style of thinking; it is a source of success the world over. 

In February 2009, I asked Michel to come up with an Emergency Plan to save the Tourism Industry. This could have included hard negotiations with the commercial banks to ease profits, cut interest and fees to business and allow reasonable grace period while we go through a severe downturn, reschedule loans, give new loans where needed at fair rates to stimulate the economy if viable ideas and projects surface.

Michel did nothing. No Emergency Plan exists. We are now in a financial emergency. 

Instead he only attacked the banks and alluded to them as profiteering on Seychelles situation. Well, did you speak to them? No! Now as banks move in on hotel properties, Owners, remember well, all that James Michel has done to save your hotel.

SPPF hoteliers took the biggest loans, so they will suffer the hardest under Michel. 

Pirates Infest Seychelles

As pirates infested Seychelles over the last 2 months, what did Michel do all these years to ensure that our territory was safe from pirates? I warned him of the impending threat of pirates in past articles. He ignored the warning. If Michel had listened to this Opposing voice, we would not have hostages today. Today it all sounds so obvious. But it was not so obvious to him one year ago, or two years ago. I sounded the alarm and red signals, he ignored them. People of Seychelles, note that! 

The Coast Guard has only 2 patrol boats. When I called for the diversion of resources from ground troops, Army which is used primarily as security for Rene, this call was ignored. Today, pirates are profiting over you ignoring a common sense appeal.

Now SPPF has to go make friends with India again and beg them for assistance, when not too long ago, when Communist China Leader was visiting Seychelles, you ignored the Indian High Commission and the only requirements you placed with them each year in the form of bursars, was the training of tank battalion officers and snipers, even those requests were always submitted late, SPPF. No requests to train Police either, but today, you call in the Irish, and fire our Police corps.

Fishing Going, Going!

As pirates infest our waters, chase our fishermen, threaten the European Fishing fleet, fishing is going, going and will be soon gone. This industry is -45% and counting SPPF.

What are you doing to turn this trend around? Have you reduced taxes on outboards, yet? Have you reduced taxes on hooks, lines and ropes?  Is it not YOUR SPPF criminal Government who is now profiteering on fishermen with the high fuel and engine oil prices?

In a phrase, my only regret when I bear witness to SPPF incompetence is that they are Seychellois, and SPPF incompetence makes very capable Seychellois look real bad!

Are you still thinking that fishing is our butter and not our bread, SPPF? How many decades did it take to get that piece of bait out of your ears? How much energy was wasted trying to make SPPF understand the value of the fishing industry to our national economy?  How much energy have we wasted trying to teach you the value of a fisherman to the economy SPPF? Do you still want to restrict the fishing of Bourgeois SPPF? Do you still want to export mackerel burgers to Paris, SPPF?

What Plan do you have when you are faced with a situation wherein there is no butter and yes, there is no bread either? Do you have a Plan SPPF?  

Air Seychelles Engine Failure or Fire!

This week on an outbound flight on another reconditioned 767-200 repainted with Air Seychelles logo now called Bijoutier, an engine of the Air Seychelles flight caught fire 20 minutes out of Changi Airport, Singapore. The plane had to return to Singapore with one engine. 137 persons were aboard. It is reported that passengers were frantic inside the cabin as they said their last rights.

How many engines will catch fire SPPF? How many planes will be disabled? How many times will we send another plane to pick up another batch of travelers. La Belle Creole was stranded in Bangkok, Mauritius, Johannesburg last year, what seems to be the problem with these planes that Captain Savy always says, there is nothing wrong with 20 plus year old planes?

Do you really think it is a good idea to use old planes to carry passengers when we are a Tourist destination,SPPF? Do you not think SPPF, for one moment, that you are going over board on the margins of risk analysis and that you are taking and jeopardizing our main income earner, when you allow Captain Savy to take on old planes, that ILFC is trying to get rid of because it does not know what to do with them, since airlines are trading them in for new planes since they have passed their safe use by date?

Is it not a wonder why in this world, would an airline CEO take a plane that is not fuel efficient, when it can take order of more fuel efficient planes? Is cost not a factor for Air Seychelles

I do not know how many times I have asked Captain Savy publicly, to stop using old planes. I ask him again, "stop using old planes"......and stop lying to the public....."nothing was wrong, just the engine did not work in air". Really now! Do we have to question all 137 passengers and post their comments on STAR to see if anything was wrong?

Maybe At Our “Destin” There is Gold

Rene told us in the last Election to make Michel President of Seychelles to "tenir...nou pre pou arrive kot nou destin". Really now. Maybe at our destin there is GOLD, SPPF?

Can SPPF come up with another story for us, aside from the James Michel Story? Surely you guys can do better then that. The finishing does not look very good from what I can see, and we have not even mentioned Lehman Brothers, the Central Bank, or bogus bonds! 

May God Bless All Freedom Loving Seychellois and Our Beloved Seychelles!


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