PM is off to World Cup with grandson, but not with taxpayers' money
...announces US$1.3 million payment to 2006 Soca Warriors
the Multimedia Desk
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar will leave today, to attend the World Cup matches in Brazil. Persad-Bissessar made the announcement at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann's before leaving for the Piarco International Airport.
She said "I leave later this afternoon on a private visit to Brazil with my grandson. I want to assure you that not one cent of Government's money is being used for this private visit".
Brazil play Germany on Tuesday at the Estadio Mineirao, in Belo Horozontre, and the following day, Netherlands will play Argentina at the Arena de San Paulo in San Paulo. The finals and play-off for third place will be held this weekend.
Persad-Bissessar did not indicate her date of return.
Persad-Bissessar also disclosed that outstanding monies owed to the Soca Warriors following their 2006 campaign, would be paid by Government.
Persad-Bissessar recalled the 2006 Germany campaign when the Soca Warriors qualified, and the patriotism displayed by citizens.
"It was a moment that unified us like never before...They healed every national wounds, bridged every divide", she said.
Persad-Bissessar said that one lingering problem was the legal battle waged by the players. She said there was a court judgement where it was ruled that players were entitled to 50 per cent of net profits derived by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, amounting to U.S $3 million. Only US $1.7 million paid. Persad-Bissessar said that while Government was under no legal obligation to payment the payment to players, Cabinet had agreed to pay the balance, in the sum of US $1.3 million, and that Finance Minister Senator Larry Howai had been advised to make the money available to the players.
Seven of the players attended today's press conference. Six others are out of the jurisdiction. They agreed to accept the offer.
Labour Minister, Errol Mc Leod, has been appointed to act as Prime Minister.
(Multimedia Editor - firstname.lastname@example.org)