Curaçao government angry about the Hague’s conditions for corona assistance
The government of Curaçao does not accept the conditions imposed by the Netherlands on new corona loans. These would go against agreements about the political relationship, laid down in the Statute for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have been hit hard by the corona crisis. State Secretary Knops of Kingdom Relations last weekend informed the governments of these countries about the conditions that The Hague has set for a new aid package. One of the conditions is the creation of an independent institution that oversees the distribution of money. According to the Antilliaans Dagblad, this institute is staffed by “three European-Dutch experts”.
The government of Curaçao is angry about this. According to Prime Minister Rhuggenaath’s cabinet, democracy is being affected and is not in keeping with the way the countries in the kingdom interact. The plenipotentiary ministers of Aruba and Sint Maarten announced on Friday after the Kingdom Council of Ministers that their governments are also unhappy with the conditions imposed by the Netherlands.
At least EUR 350 million in aid
The three countries will have to inform the Kingdom Council of Ministers next Friday whether they agree to the conditions, which also include a restructuring of the civil service and a reform of the pension system.
If an EU country such as Italy or as countries within the kingdom ask for help in a crisis, you must be prepared to do so, Prime Minister Rutte said after the Kingdom Council of Ministers on Friday. “But then I say, do everything to be able to solve it yourself next time.” Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten say that they are already working on this, but according to Rutte that is going too slowly.
EUR 350 million has already been earmarked for aid to the countries. There may be an amount of up to 1 billion euros, State Secretary Knops said Friday. He emphasized that the countries’ financial situation has been bad for some time. According to him, this is the time to increase the “resilience” of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten and that cannot be postponed.