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Chang refutes reports Grand Hotel will be privatized

Chang refutes reports Grand Hotel will be privatized

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday refuted a local media report that indicated that the government-owned Grand Hotel would be privatized sometime before May 20, when a new president is inaugurated.
"There is no time set for initiating the project, but I believe such a move will be beneficial for the hotel, which is currently operated by a government-controlled foundation, to be run by a corporation," Chang said yesterday in response to questions about a report in the Chinese-language newspaper China Times.
Chang added that there is no legal basis for the government to compel the hotel to go under private ownership, and said that the Executive Yuan was not sure whether any changes would be made before May 20.
Chang made his remarks after a China Times report yesterday stated that the Duen Mou Foundation of Taiwan, a non-profit organization founded by the then-ruling Kuomintang in 1952, was planning to establish a corporation to run the Grand Hotel chain before a new president assumes his post.
The report suggested that once the private corporation is established, the foundation that is currently controlled by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration will appoint its chairwoman, Christine Tsung (宗才怡), who has served two terms as the chairperson of the hotel, as the head of the new Grand Hotel Company\.
The chain includes two Grand Hotels - one in Taipei, and another in Kaohsiung - as well as two Yuan Shan Clubs, located in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Tsung, a former Minister of Economic Affairs during President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration, is believed to maintain close ties with members of the DPP administration.
Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Tsai Duei, whose ministry determines the jurisdiction of the hotel company, said that it was a "long-established policy" that the Grand Hotel chain would be incorporated into privately-run companies.
Tsai said that in as early as April 1999, the late chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫), who then doubled as the chairman of the hotel, was to launch the project but due to certain circumstances, was not able to realize the plan.
Tsai added that due to legal difficulties, it would not be easy for the Grand Hotel chain to be privatized anytime soon.
The plan to transfer control of the hotel to a privately-run firm was criticized by opposition Kuomintang lawmakers, who said the move was aimed to transfer assets that belonged to the nation into DPP pockets.
The KMT caucus urged Chang to call off the project as soon as possible.


Updated : 2021-04-18 21:57 GMT+08:00