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Dutch State Secretary Harbers to visit Bonaire

BONAIRE - The Dutch State Secretary of Justice and Security, Mark Harbers will pay a working visit to Bonaire on April 29th, 2019.

During this visit the state secretary will have meetings with, among others, the acting Kingdom Representative and the Island Governor.

There are also meetings with the chain partners and a visit to the airport is also part of the program. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Continuation plenary session about Draft National Ordinance Kingdom Law from MP Van Laar

PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary public session on Thursday, April 25.

The plenary public meeting which was adjourned on November 19, 2018 due to a lack of quorum, will be reconvened on Thursday at 14.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of General Affairs will be present.

The agenda point is: National Ordinance to accept the draft kingdom law from the Member Van Laar amending the articles 14 and 38 of the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Parliamentary Year 2017-2018-114)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, www.pearlfmradio.sx and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.

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Small firms want shorter payment terms, big companies wait too long to clear bills

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Small firms’ association MKB Nederland is urging junior economic affairs minister Mona Keijzer to cut the maximum amount of time big firms have to pay their bills from 60 to 30 days.

The organisation argues that many small firms are hard hit by delayed payments because big companies wait too long before clearing invoices. The 60-day limit was introduced in July 2017 and the average payment term experienced by small firms has since stretched to 40 days.

‘The law states that big firms can set payment terms of 60 days towards small firms and this has, in effect, become the new standard,’ MKB-Nederland chairman Jacco Vonhof told the Financieele Dagblad. ‘We warned that this would happen when the deadline was introduced.’ (DutchNews)

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Central Committee meeting of Parliament to approve business travel of the President

PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in a Central Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 23.

The Central Committee meeting is scheduled for 13.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is: Approval travel and provisions for President of Parliament to attend a symposium and reception with regards to the 150th anniversary of the Common Court on Friday, May 3, 2019 on Curaçao (IS/736/2018-2019 dated March 15, 2019)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.sxmparliament.org, www.pearlfmradio.sx  and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.

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First Foster Care Café for Foster Parents

BONAIRE - On Thursday April 11th, Jeugdzorg & Gezinsvoogdij Caribisch Nederland (JGCN) organized the first café for foster parents on Bonaire. Director of JGCN Curvin George informed the foster parents about foster care and the developments in this field. But above all the evening was organized to express the appreciation for foster parents.

The debut presentation of this evening was under guidance of moderator and youth professional Areina Martina at Foundation Forma and was titled ‘Bonding and the language of love’. Also, there was a question and discussion round and time for introduction.

This ‘foster care café’, an initiative from JGCN, is organized to express appreciation, to inform and to support foster parents. As the first of a three-yearly event, the evening was well attended and positively received by foster parents. In the interest of JGCN to keep each child continuously safe, this evening was especially organized for the appreciation of the foster parents. JGCN thanks all attendees and the commitment of its employees for the successful evening. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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1421 Vehicles controlled by Bike Patrol Team in Philipsburg

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - During the  period of March 13, 2019 and April 12, 2019  the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) Bike Patrol Team conducted a series of traffic controls throughout the Philipsburg area. The locations included the Front Street; Backstreet; CA Cannegieter street and Walter A. Nisbeth Road, police announced on Tuesday.

During these controls  a total of 1421 vehicles were stopped. The  drivers of 200 vehicles had to remove their tint  on the spot, 50 people had to pay a fine for the tint after it was measured using the Tint Machine that was  not in compliance with the law.

Vehicles are suppose to have 70%  transparency for the windshield and front side windows and  40% transparency to the rear or side windows behind the driver.

 The Bike Patrol reported that  six vehicles were towed for not having paid their 2019 roadtax and eight people were transferred to the Sint Maarten Police Station for failing to pay outstanding fines.

One driver had an outstanding fine of ANG 1550; a total of ANG 3250 worth of fines were given out during the control period. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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Egg farmers take Dutch food safety board to court over fipronil scandal

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Some 124 poultry farmers and the LTO farming lobby group are taking the Dutch state to court on Monday following the 2017 contaminated egg scandal, which led to millions of eggs and 3.5 million chickens being destroyed.

The poultry farmers and LTO say the government’s food and product safety board was negligent in dealing with the 2017 fipronil crisis which resulted in hundreds of poultry farms being closed down.

Some have still not reopened fully. They argue officials ignored reports dating from November 2016 that fipronil had been found in eggs following the use of a delousing agent made by Dutch company ChickFriend.

And they claim if NVWA officials had taken the reports seriously, many farms would not have used the pesticide containing fipronil to control a type of chicken lice, and the scandal would not have become so widespread.

‘I am joining in for justice,’ poultry farmer Helmus Torsius told broadcaster RTL Nieuws. ‘The government made mistakes and I have been left with the damage. And I have built up extra debts to pay for cleaning the barns.’

Last year, a formal report into the contaminated egg scandal slammed egg producers, government inspectors and ministers for failing to put food safety first. Neither the poultry sector, the food safety board or the two ministries involved showed sufficient concern for food safety when the fipronil crisis broke, the report said.

In particular, the health and farm ministers failed to inform parliament and the public properly about the scandal, while the farming industry put profit ahead of food safety and did not carry out proper checks for banned substances.

The food safety board also showed major failings by not reacting ‘adequately’ when it was first tipped off about the contamination crisis at the end of 2016 and in early 2017. The government has consistently said that Chickfriend, which is now bankrupt, is responsible for the damages.  (DutchNews)

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CBS starts rental properties survey on St Eustatius

ST. EUSTATIUS - From mid-April until mid-May of this year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) will conduct a rental properties survey at the request of the St Eustatius government and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. With this survey CBS aims to get an overview of characteristics of rental properties.

The information of the survey will be used by the government to improve current legislation regarding rental prices. In the context of improving the social housing market and promoting good maintenance, there must be more equality between the rents of public and private property owners, whereby the rent is linked to the quality of the home.

Based on the data collected by CBS, a points system can be developed to value a home. Based on this, the Public Entity of St Eustatius can set up a rent commission, an impartial organization that helps tenants and property owners by providing information, conducting research, mediating in their conflict or, if necessary, formally settling the conflict by settling a judgment, binding for both parties.

The rental properties survey is a sample survey conducted among residents of rental properties. Interviewers of CBS will go to 260 rental properties on the island to register characteristics of the property, such as the location, the rental price, type of property and number of bath- and bedrooms.

CBS is obligated by law to process the collected information strictly confidentially. Therefore, we have taken various measures to protect your information. All our interviewers have a CBS identification badge and must identify themselves upon request, so that everyone can be sure that the interview is being carried out by CBS.

CBS and the Public Entity of St Eustatius would like to thank all participants in advance for cooperating in this survey.

For further information and questions, please contact CBS via +599 717 8676 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Police under fire for using water cannon on football fans

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam’s mayor, public prosecutor and police chief are to investigate why the city’s police force used riot squads and water cannons on supporters outside the Arena football stadium on Wednesday, ahead of the Champions League football match between Ajax and Juventus.

Supporters groups have questioned the police show of force, describing it as an ‘over-reaction’. Trouble broke out close to the Arena stadium, when some fans lit torches, despite the ban on fireworks which police had earlier imposed.

This led riot police to turn water cannons on supporters, including children and people in wheelchairs, local broadcaster AT5 said. In addition, police used horses to drive a wedge between the supporters, leaving Ajax fans describing their action as ‘over the top’.

Their number includes city alderman Reinier van Dantzig, who was at the ground and who said the situation was ‘extremely chaotic’. In total, 185 people, mainly Juventus fans, were arrested in Amsterdam before and after the game.

Mayor Femke Halsema, currently in New York, will report back on the police action at a full meeting of the council next week, AT5 said. (DutchNews)

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Stamp of approval? Government opens door to innovative post delivery

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The cabinet wants to shake up the postal system to allow delivery firms to change the way they deliver post – such as by drone or by leaving letters at a central collection point rather than via the letter box.

The suggestions are included alongside new draft legislation which has been put out for public consultation by the economic affairs ministry.

The rise of email means consumers is sending fewer letters and changes in the law are needed to make sure delivery companies can continue to meet their needs in the future, junior economic affairs minister Mona de Keijzer says.

However, some key aspects of the current legislation, such as five day a week delivery and collection would not change. A spokesman for PostNL said that the company is continually innovating and improving its services.

‘Digitalisation is leading to falling postal volumes and we will look at the draft legislation in the coming weeks,’ a spokesman told broadcaster NOS. In February, PostNL, the former Dutch state postal monopoly, said it is taking over its main competitor Sandd for €130m.

The government last year said it would allow postal delivery firms to merge to cope with declining volumes of mail. PostNL currently controls some 70% of the Dutch postal market and Sandd virtually all the rest – primarily business deliveries. (DutchNews)

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