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GSD renews Credit Finance questions after article

The GSD has renewed its questions over Credit Finance Co Limited and its ‘loan’ to the Sunborn Yacht Hotel.

This comes after Panorama published an article last week in which certain statements were made by the paper in relation to the Sunborn.

According to the GSD, the article reveals “details which have been denied to the public by the Chief Minister himself, including the size of the loan, the loan term and the interest payable.”

It also raised questions about the repayment of the loan when it becomes due “apparently in 2018”, the GSD said.

“Whilst the GSD would like to see the floating hotel prosper and in return positively contribute to Gibraltar’s economy, it must be recalled that the terms of the loan to the Sunborn has been shrouded in secrecy from the very beginning,” the Opposition said in a statement.

In 2013, the Chief Minister said the Government had not directly or indirectly afforded the owners of the Sunborn with a loan, something which the GSD claims “later proved to be a lie”.

“In 2014 the Leader of the Opposition asked the Chief Minister whether the repayments on Sunborn loan had been paid on their due date. The answer from the Chief Minister was that it had,” the GSD said.

“When the same question was asked in 2015, the Government refused to answer it, as it refused to answer whether the terms of repayment had been rescheduled.”

“An answer to these questions would have allowed us to assess whether the owners of the Sunborn were having difficulties meeting the repayments of the debt.”

The Opposition reiterated its long standing position that the money in Credit Finance Co Limited was a combination of taxpayer and savers' money.

“This is a Government owned company and the Government should be open and transparent in its dealings with public money and the risks associated with any loans made using public money,” it said.

“The Government have successfully muddied the waters with Credit Finance Company Limited loans, to such an extent that people do not understand the gambles and risks this Government are taking, in the same way as they are doing with the £300m so called investment which turns out to be a loan.”

The GSD congratulated Panorama for its “good investigative journalism”.

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