Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said in a press statement that a four-country meeting had been held with the prime ministers of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK Raymond Knops on Thursday, March 18. The Caribbean countries were informed that the advice on the Kingdom Consensus Law from the Council of State had been issued and shared with the BZK Ministry last week.
“As such, it was forwarded to the three Caribbean countries via the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary today, Friday, March 19, 2021,” Jacobs said in the release.
She said that per law the advice cannot be debated or shared publicly until it is handled in the Kingdom Council of Ministers RMR meeting and sent to the Second Chamber of the Parliament of the Netherlands and the Parliaments of St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba.
St. Maarten’s Advisory Council was also requested to render its feedback and once this trajectory has been completed, the Parliament of St. Maarten can then debate the Kingdom Consensus Law.
The way forward was discussed during the meeting and each country agreed to appoint a technical team to assist in addressing the Council of State’s concerns and collaborate on the further report to be submitted to the Kingdom Council of Ministers.
Furthermore, a letter requesting a confirmation of St. Maarten’s commitment was received from Knops on Tuesday, March 16. A response was sent on Wednesday, March 17, “with a clear affirmation,” Jacobs said.
“The letter and response have since been shared with Parliament. The government of St. Maarten is committed to carry out the established agreements on the country package for St. Maarten to receive further liquidity support.
“The Council of Ministers has approved the completed implementation plan on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. This is two weeks in advance of the scheduled April 1 deadline. The implementation plan will be carried out within the next three months and the next implementation plan will be prepared and finalised by July.”
She said the government of St. Maarten had received broad support from 13 of the 14 Members of Parliament present to enter into agreements with the Netherlands to receive the third tranche of liquidity support.
The country package agreements were signed between the government of St. Maarten and Knops on December 22, 2020, and included an agreement to follow the trajectory of the Caribbean Body for Development and Reform COHO as long as it does not infringe on local, kingdom and international laws.
Jacobs said that on Friday, during the continuation of a meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament on the country package for St. Maarten, the majority of MPs had affirmed their support to government to continue with the trajectory as agreed in December 2020.
The Daily Herald