At long last the Government of Grenada has decided to inject much needed funds in regional carrier LIAT.
Grenadians will recall the obstinate attitude of Prime Minister Mitchell in relation to the subject matter. His infantile tantrums about LIAT and its management often left regional leaders scratching their heads about an attitude that defies reason.
He even set preconditions that must be met before Grenadian taxpayers money can be invested in the regional airline. He ranted and raved about flight itinerary, operational costs, managerial incompetence to name a few.
At the same time he committed the country’s funds to pay subvention to foreign airlines and refused to do so with a regional carrier which provides airlift to the island for more than fifty years uninterrupted.
Such is the character of the man who believes that the world revolves around his whim and fancies.
His argument that the airline needed private sector style management was diminished by the fact that Carib Express and Caribbean Star came and went. They were both private sector managed operations. However LIAT stood the test of time.
The present Chief Executive Officer of the airline, who is a long standing senior employee, must be quietly amused by the about face decision of Dr. Mitchell. So what has changed Mr. Prime Minister? The constant changes of senior operating officers continues, uneconomic routes still exists on their schedule and the carrier remains cash-strapped.
Local taxes does not assist the cause of lower fares and the cost of inter-regional travel continues to be prohibitive.
Moreover, many Grenadians are wondering whether there is fiscal space available to write multi- million dollar cheques to the regional carrier. To date the government has refused to tell the nation how much money will be plowed into LIAT.
This whole episode demonstrates what we have to contend with in these islands where elected leaders become increasingly more capricious and egotistic in their discharge of their public duty. Such duty is being treated as if our islands have become their private estate and personal property where the greater good is treated with scant respect.
The aspirations of our Caribbean people for regional unity and cooperation stand predominate. Nothing more, nothing less.