PHILIPSBURG - The Dutch has decided to make €550M available to St. Maarten as Development Aid in the context of rebuilding the island after the aftermath of the inflicted damages to the Islands economy and social fabric, National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Rodolphe Samuel said in a press statement.
“This disbursement will however delayed in being made available to St. Maarten for the following reasons:
“World Bank: It’s rumored that The funds will be made available to St Maarten via the World Bank: The World Bank has no office or officers in St Maarten and will not be handling these funds free of charge – handling fee shall be deducted leaving less –. Not clear of the 550M is based on an application submitted by the Netherlands to the World bank to be assistive in the Reconstruction Cost of St. Maarten, as there are many different funding possibilities from the World Bank for disaster relief situations as in which St Maarten finds itself at this very moment.
“St. Maarten cannot apply directly to the World Bank, IMF, European Union and others for financial Aid as she’s not an independent member of such August bodies – The Netherlands is and can and hopefully will help St Maarten get to their negotiating table!.
“It seems that it will take onwards of six / seven months after the passing of hurricane IRMA before St. Maarten will have received ANY CASH from the Netherlands.
“What’s the Dutch priority now: There’s a phrase: get your priorities straight. Holland’s priorities and those of St Maarten diverge significantly: for the Dutch those priorities are threefold: Integrity Chamber // Border Control // Customs:
- No delay in bringing these about as they will supposedly:
1.1 put bread and money on the table for St Maarten’s people,
1.2 will get roofs over their heads and get our economy moving again
1.3 secure funds to secure the governability of this country.
“Neither of the abovementioned points will achieve the self-evident. Dutch Shaming of St. Maarten: Holland is seemingly more interested in shaming St. Maarten, and bringing it quickest possible to its knees, so it can be added to the BES-islands group. €550m Development Aid had been pledged and will be available in 6/7 months via the World Bank. This position of Holland brings about unnecessary hardship for St. Maarten and its people.
“Funds Application: Holland has yet to specify for which specific purposes the €550M is to be used/applied, be that housing – in the broadest sense of the word – or general infrastructure rebuild and or what portion thereof is slated for Direct Budgetary Assistance to St Maarten.
“€42M Direct Budgetary Assistance to St Maarten. There are indications that €42M has been provided for Direct Budgetary Assistance (2017), by the Dutch Government, however no written confirmation of such has been provided to or received by the Government of St Maarten.
“St. Maarten’s Governability: At the end of the day Holland can send the Karel Doorman marine supply ship TEN (10) times to our shores laden with goodies – for which ALL St. Maarten has been and are grateful/thankful - but without Direct Budgetary Assistance St. Maarten’s ability to govern herself shall remain undermined to such a degree that governing - will literally collapse at some point in the near future. This Direct Budgetary Assistance must be seen separate from Development or Reconstruction Aid that’s sorely and pressingly needed. See it as follows: if a taxi drivers works all day and only receives goods instead of payment he won’t be able to sustain his general basic obligations such as buying more fuel to stay productively on the road and take care of his other daily/weekly/monthly obligations.
“Article 43 of the Charter Of the Kingdom: The undermining of St Maarten’s Governability. A very serious matter that brings article 43 of the Charter Of the Kingdom in focus. Yes - How can Holland “with “the immediate urgency of now” defer from making cash available to St. Maarten “to guarantee that the governability of this country is insured and assured”? How can it be that Holland - after declaring that St. Maarten has not only been totally destroyed but that the destruction is worse than any seen in a warzone?
“To date – notwithstanding the highly appreciated emergency assistance provided in the form of goods - not ONE SINGLE EURO BANKNOTE OR CASH transfer by the Government of the Netherlands to the Government of St Maarten has taken.
“From my perspective Holland is grossly failing in fulfilling its role of the guarantor of art 43 of the Kingdom Charter in St Maarten. In these extra ordinary times St Maarten’s governability is being undermined by the guarantor Holland – after hobbled by the disastrous impact of Hurricane IRMA.
“St Maarten – both its Government and Parliament – has accepted the conditions for Holland to release the €550 Development / Reconstruction Assistance to St Maarten.
“We agreed with Holland’s requirements / demands that the Integrity Chamber and Border control be accepted by both the Government and Parliament of St Maarten. There was never a discussion about the €550M fund package first going to the World Bank to thereafter be disbursed to St Maarten. This remains and unwelcomed unilateral moving of the goal posts by the Netherlands.
“Holland must honor is commitment: Agreement is Agreement: Calling / Labelling St. Maarten a corrupt and Mafia infested Island: As of right now the clear position must be taken by St. Maarten’s Government and Parliament that The Government of Holland and or it’s Ministers and it’s Parliamentarians must cease labelling St. Maarten as a corrupt and Mafia infested Island: Shut up or put up.
“For those in the Netherlands: it’s a nice game to play. What they don’t want to realize is that:
- for St. Maarten this namely is no game, that
- they are creating a non-level playing field – and this no game -, while in the process undermining – and seriously so –
- the economic investment climate of our country is being seriously and detrimentally undermined,
- investors are being scared away and will stay away to the detriment of St Maarten’s desperately needed economic recovery.
“Why would a self-respecting Investor invest in St. Maarten’s economy today or even in the past if the Mother country – Holland - labels it as corrupt / mafia infested / underworld intermingled. Why? “