The Hague – Young professionals on Sint Maarten have a positive attitude and want to help their country move forward. But they worry about “seemingly small things” that keep blocking success. Politicians are more concerned with themselves than with the future of their country.
Two days after his return, Knops already sent a report to the House of Representatives, in which he described a meeting with young professionals. He spoke with them about administrative development, economic recovery, strengthening social cohesion and care for the natural environment. “I am impressed by the positive forces and the potential that became visible,” Knops writes.
The State Secretary says that he was affected by the care that came through during the meeting. Politics stands in the way of progress, as a result of which talent “struggles to find their way elsewhere”, he describes the mood among young professionals. “The benevolent forces on Sint Maarten are facing a huge challenge at the moment.” The challenge, according to Knops, is also “complex” to do the right thing in these circumstances, but he assures the House that the interests of the population are important. of Sint Maarten is paramount.
Earlier in his letter Knops describes how he arrived in Sint Maarten in the middle of a political crisis. He then immediately emphasized to Governor Eugene Holiday and Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin that the interests of the population are leading for the Dutch cabinet and that the instability is not conducive to reconstruction.
The state secretary describes how the governor tackled the crisis and launched new elections before 25 November. The consequences for the reconstruction projects are still unclear. For example, the financing plan for the recovery of the airport and a plan for dealing with the waste mountain are ready, but the government of Sint Maarten “must fulfill its part of the agreements”. “The Netherlands will follow developments closely and determine its position on the basis thereof.”
In a speech that Knops ultimately could not hold for the States, he had wanted to say that political games do not fit because they block important developments. The unspoken speech has, for the most part, been published in The Daily Herald and subsequently in this newspaper.
In his report, Knops also refers to the latest progress report on detention facilities and the police. This shows that, although the buildings are being refurbished and adapted, investments in human capital and improvement of the organization are not keeping pace.
More optimistic is the minister about recovery projects from the National Recovery Program Bureau. Nearly a thousand houses have been repaired from hurricane damage, 500 are being tackled in the short term and more than 1,300 people have received training to support themselves. Results are also achieved in the recovery of schools and shelters and young people who are at a distance from the labor market are working at Waste2Work with expertise in converting waste into furniture and other utensils.
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