Nederlandse Antillen

Prime Minister Sint Maarten calls Knops behavior ‘inappropriate’

St. Martin Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs has sent a letter to Prime Minister Mark Rutte complaining about the behavior of Secretary of State Raymond Knops (Kingdom Relations). He is said to have behaved “inappropriately, unkindly and rudely” during a video meeting on further liquidity support from the Netherlands for Sint Maarten this week.

Knops agrees in a response that the last conversation with Jacobs and Minister Ardwell Irion (Finance) was “less constructive” than the previous conversations. However, he does not recognize the contents of the letter that Jacob sent to Rutte.

According to Jacobs, the points that Sint Maarten wanted to discuss were immediately swept off the table by Knops and labeled as ‘irrelevant’. The State Secretary further blames the government of Sint Maarten, in her opinion, for not communicating sufficiently with the World Bank, where after Hurricane Irma the Netherlands spent half a billion euros in 2017 to support the construction of Sint Maarten. Jacobs in turn denies that. In her opinion, Knops was not sufficiently informed about the topics on the agenda.

The State Secretary states that he often consults with the Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten about the consequences of the corona crisis and ways of dealing with it. According to him, these conversations take place in a constructive atmosphere. Knops is “happy to take up the thread again, in the interest of the people of Sint Maarten”.

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