Netherlands National Council Of Ministers RMR Now Playing”Hardball” With St Maarten: To Further Aid Without Clarification And Condemnation
Sint Maarten does not (really) have to count on additional Dutch financial support, as long as clarification on the one hand about the petition at the United Nations (read: indictment against the Netherlands) and on the other hand whether or not there is political support for the Landspakket / Coho route does not come out. In an unmistakable way, the National Council of Ministers (RMR) made it clear to Philipsburg that otherwise “the Netherlands cannot be required to provide further liquidity support”. In general, there has been a fierce reaction to this in the publicity about this in the media, because the Netherlands now plays “hardball”. Less attention was given to the fact that, in addition to Sint Maarten, Curaçao and, in a lighter form, also Aruba, were told that they must meet the conditions. The latter – the link between conditions / financial support – has suddenly become a lot less delicate since the leakage and subsequent publication of the advice of the Council of State for the Kingdom (RvS). Because the advice was locally received with some euphoria, because the Council of State ruled that the consensus Coho Kingdom Act goes too far in some parts with regard to the overlap with the autonomous powers of the three countries, but the same advice unambiguously indicates that the conditioning of liquidity support is ‘self-evident’. It was precisely this link that is a thorn in the side of some politicians.
For Sint Maarten there is an essentially fairly simple question: do the Jacobs government and especially the States still support the approved National Package and the Coho process, or are they sticking to the opposed petition to the UN? The correct answer to the question can immediately yield 39 million guilders, the liquidity needs of the island for the second quarter of 2021. But first, there is sufficient clarity about the position of the States, according to the RMR in The Hague.
With regard to Aruba, it can expect 237 million florins for the coming months, but not just like that. Provided and after Aruba has signed the second Implementation Agenda (for the second quarter).
Curaçao also has homework. That too – like Sint Maarten – largely lies with the States, which has been flat for a long time in the past period and could hardly or not at all function due to the boycott of the current opposition, led by MFK (the new coalition leader from 11 May). It is not immediately apparent that Curaçao does not (yet) meet the set conditions, because no extra money will be allocated for the second quarter because the liquidity need for the next three months is “nil”. That would be for the fifth installment. However, not all conditions have been met for the third – already received – tranche. This still involves establishing the national ordinances that relate to a 25 percent reduction in the total package of terms of employment for members of Parliament and ministers with retroactive effect from 1 July 2020, as well as the same in connection with the maximization of the terms of employment of top officials within the (semi) public sector and the discount on the total package of employment conditions with 12.5 percent of staff and top officials of the entities affiliated to the government. “As long as Curaçao does not enact these national ordinances and let them enter into force, the Country will not be eligible for further tranches of liquidity support.” A clear message for all politicians from all parties – both the outgoing Rhuggenaath government (PAR-MAN) and the Pisas cabinet (MFK-PNP) that is under construction. A message from the Reich Council of Ministers, which feels reinforced by the opinion of the highest advisory body of the Kingdom: namely that it is understandable and logical that the support is linked to a reform program. The RMR “plays hardball”.
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