Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (2391)

Frequent 53-year old offender arrested in Pelican Area with stolen goods

SINT MAARTEN (PELICAN) - On Monday February 18th, 2019, the Sint Maarten Police Force arrested a suspect with initials G.R. (53) in the area of Simpson bay, on the Welfare road, police said on Tuesday.

 The Emergency Dispatch Center received a call about a man who was suspected to be in possession of several stolen items. When the patrols arrived on the scene the suspect was questioned and it was clear that he was indeed in the possession of items he could not provide proof of ownership for. All items were confiscated; the suspect was placed under arrest and brought to the Police Station for questioning. 

The suspect is well known to the Police, for committing burglaries in the Simpson Bay/Pelican Area in the past. The investigation is currently ongoing. The detectives are asking all residents, specifically those in the Simpson Bay/Pelican area, who may have been a victim of a burglary within the past two weeks to report it to your Community Police Officer or the Detective Department. 

All persons that may have been witness to a burglary are also asked to contact the police department TIP Line at 9300 or come in to the Philipsburg Station. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 


Justice Committee of Parliament to meet about state of affairs of the Bureau Unusual Financial Transactions

PHILIPSBURG – The Justice Committee of Parliament will meet in a session on February 20.

The Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 10.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever will be present for this meeting. 

The agenda point is:Update on the state of affairs of the Bureau Unusual Financial Transactions (MOT)(IS/296/2018-2019 dated November 05, 2018).

This meeting was requested by MP F.A. Meyers, MP R. Brison and MP S.M. Bijlani.

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  and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.


Government admits it was wrong on energy bill hikes, used outdated figures

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The cabinet has admitted it used old figures when calculating the impact of energy tax hikes and underestimated the impact on families. 

On Monday, the national statistics agency CBS said the average household energy bill would go up by some €334 this year, more than double the earlier government estimate of €150. 

However, economic affairs ministry officials now say they used statistics on energy consumption from 2017, which underestimated the amount of gas and electricity households actually use, much to the fury of MPs. 

‘This is undermining trust in the government,’ Labour MP William Moorlag said. ‘It would appear that spending power estimates are based on mathematical models designed by magician Hans Klok.’ 

The ministry spokesman told the AD that Dutch environmental assessment agency staff were too busy working on plans to tackle climate change to come up with specific estimates last year. 

In addition, the agency and the CBS use different definitions of what constitutes the average household, the spokesman said. The price of gas and electricity has been pushed up by higher levies on CO2 emissions and the accelerated scaling back of gas extraction in Groningen, as well as a €50 rise in the amount households contribute towards sustainable energy subsidies (ODE).  (DutchNews)


Move over motorboats: Amsterdam opens up to superyachts

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam is opening up more of its waterfront to superyachts which will soon be able to moor west of central station, the Parool reports. 

Vessels of up to 80m in length will be able to tie up near the new law courts for a maximum of seven nights, the paper writes. The plan is part of an initiative to stimulate the return of yacht building and repair to the capital, the paper said. 

Work on a new wharf in western port area is scheduled to be concluded this year. That wharf will also offer berthing for super yachts of up to 160 metres long that need repairing. 

De Ruijterkade West location brings the number of places for mooring superyachts in the Dutch capital to four. Last year, ‘Forever One’, the 55-metre long, €34m yacht owned by billionaire Mexican Coca-Cola bottler Bruce Grossman moored alongside the Scheepvaart maritime museum this week while its owners explored the city.

Port officials use the Amsterdam boat show Hiswa last year to promote Amsterdam as a superyacht harbour and also took a stand at the Monaco Yacht Show.(DutchNews)


Carnival band, DJ's meeting on Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has invited all bands and DJ's that intend to be on the road for Carnival 2019 to a very important meeting.

This meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 19 at 7:00pm at the office of the SCDF on Illidge Road above the Windward Islands Bank branch. 

All music bands and DJ's are urged to send one or two representatives to this meeting. All band members do not have to attend.

Fire Department and Police officials will also be present at these meetings to go over the regulations of the road and inspection of vehicles.


Partial Road Closure of Back Street on Monday Morning

PHILIPSBURG - The VROMI Ministry announces that there will be a partial road closure of Back Street on Monday, February 18, 2019 from 4:00AM to 5:30AM. 

The road closure will take place from the New Testament Church of God down to the Longwall Road intersection.

The road closure is to facilitate the pouring of concrete at #117 Back Street.  Motorists are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.


ABGMA 2019 Nominations Announcement on Feb. 18

SINT MAARTEN/ANTIGUA - Organizers of the 5thannual Antigua and Barbuda Gospel Music and Media Awards (ABGMA) disclosed recently that nominations for this year’s awards ceremony will be announced on Monday February 18, 2019. Stanshaw Cornelius, CEO of So Arise Music International, organisers of the event, said that the announcement will be made at 4pm Eastern Standard Time. 

“I would first like to congratulate all who you who have ever written, produced, sang, performed, played, promoted, the gift of gospel music over the years to the hearts of many across the globe. Do know that your labours of love are never in vain; that God sees every step of faith and courage to endure, carry out your purpose,” she said. 

“The judge’s panel is currently listening to all the entries and casting their vote in the First Round of the ABGMA. On Monday February 18th 2019 at 5pm Atlantic Standard Time/ 4pm Eastern Standard Time, via the ABGMA Facebook Page and So Arise Music International website: Announcements of the finalists for the Second Round of the ABGMA will be made. Do keep checking our Facebook and Instagram Pages for updates,” she disclosed. 

The public voting period: runs from March 1st-31st 2019.  “Thanks to all of you who have been chosen to be a part of the ABGMA since its inception and we welcome to those who are participating for the first time. Blessed love to the Antigua & Barbuda Gospel community, let's keep the fire blazing,” Cornelius added. Winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Saturday April 27th 2019. 

The Antigua Barbuda Gospel Music & Media Awards is an International Award Ceremony established in 2015 by So Arise Music International. With over 30 + Categories to date...Gospel Music & Media creatives have the opportunity to be rewarded by professionals in the industry and fans around the world. The A.B.G.M.A event serves to motivate, encourage others to move and have their being in the full extent of what God intended to accomplish through their lives.
This year’s theme is “Acceleration.”


CAft: Diligent implementation of protocol is necessary for sustainable public finances

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - A protocol between Aruba and the Netherlands was agreed upon on November 22nd, 2018, which is directed towards sustainable public finances. It is understood that as soon as possible a surplus of at least 1% of GDP will be achieved on the budget. This should lead to a substantial reduction in the debt ratio, which at presents amounts to almost 90% of GDP. 

Windfalls will have to be used in favor of the deficit reduction in the coming years. The reorganization of public finances must be tackled by means of a significant reduction of government expenditure. From 2019 onwards, Aruba will nominally decrease the personnel costs. In doing so, it is important to modernize the tax system with determination. This in turn will also stimulate the economy.

A deficit of -0.5% of GDP has been agreed on for the 2019 budget. Due to a lack of relevant and legally required information, the CAft is not in the position to assess whether with the adopted budget 2019 Aruba is on its path to sustainable public finances. 

Tax estimates and the temporary budget fund for the Social Crisis Plan have been insufficiently substantiated, as a result of which the reality level of the budget cannot be established. A general dividend policy is also lacking, which should enable the revenue of the government of government entities to be more predictable. In the past too, many high dividends have been booked, which later turned out to be unrealistic.

Aruba started reforming the tax system in the year 2019. An integral tax plan is not yet available. As a result, the CAft is unable to determine how realistic the expected tax revenues are. The CAft calls on the government to elaborate such a plan with diligence and to indicate how the efficiency of the tax office can be improved. In other areas too, more efficiency should be provided in the civil service. 

The CAft wants more insight into the budget funds of Aruba. It is insufficiently clear to the CAft what the monies from the funds will be used for and what risks these funds represent for the country’s budget. For the 2019 budget, the CAft has received insufficient clarification from the National Ordinance on the Interim Budget Fund for the Social Crisis Plan.

The CAft has visited Aruba during the last days. As usual, discussions were held with the Governor, the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Culture and the Council of Ministers. In addition, the CAft paid a visit to the Central Bank Aruba and the Advisory Council. 

On Thursday, February 14th, the CAft Chairman, Mr. Raymond Gradus, gave a public lecture entitled "On the path towards sustainable public finances", in which he placed the development of public finances in Aruba in an economic perspective. The lecture was organized in collaboration with the University of Aruba and the PowerPoint presentation is available via the website of the CAft:


U.S. Consul General Hawthorne Hosts Visit of U.S. Admiral Craig Faller

CURACAO - U.S. Consul General Margaret Hawthorne hosted the visit of Commander U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Admiral Craig S. Faller, February 13-14, 2019. This is Admiral Faller’s first visit to the Dutch Caribbean since becoming Commander of SOUTHCOM.

Admiral Faller assumed command of SOUTHCOM on November 26, 2018, and is responsible for all Department of Defense security cooperation in the 45 nations and territories of Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. In his first 90 days as SOUTHCOM commander, he has visited Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, and now Curacao to hear partner-nation perspectives, concerns and ideas, and express the command’s unwavering commitment to its enduring partnerships with military and public security forces in the region.

Consul General Hawthorne said “this high-level visit demonstrates the importance that the U.S. attaches to our cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean islands and reinforces the mutually- beneficial partnerships we have on a number of important issues.”

Admiral Faller met with Governor Lucille George-Wout and Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, in separate meetings, to express appreciation on behalf of the United States for hosting the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) – and Curacao’s generous partnership and significant contributions in countering the flow of illegal narcotics throughout the region.

The mission of the USFOL on Curacao and Aruba is defined in a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and all operations carried out at the USFOLs are limited to activities that detect and monitor illicit narcotics trafficking.

Admiral Faller attended the unveiling of the USS ERIE Memorial plaque at Koredor in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. While serving as the lead escort for a convoy, the USS Erie was torpedoed on November 12, 1942 by a German U-boat, a few miles off the coast of Curacao.


CBCS Executive Directors take the oath of office

WILLEMSTAD/PHILIPSBURG – On February 13, 2019, Mrs. Leila Matroos-Lasten and Mr. José Jardim were sworn in as Executive Directors of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) as they took the oath of office before the Governor of Curaçao, Mrs. Lucille George-Wout. 

On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, both members of the CBCS Executive Board will take the oath of office before the Governor of Sint Maarten, Mr. Eugene Holiday, and are then formally appointed as Members of the Executive Board of the CBCS. Both Mrs. Leila Matroos-Lasten and Mr. José Jardim have been interim directors since November 2017. 

CBCS hopes to welcome a new President on short term. 

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