Arrindell stresses self-reliance at meeting with Rutte

POSTED: 06/15/11 12:38 PM

St. Maarten – President of Parliament drs Gracita Arrindell described the first day of parliamentary deliberations in The Hague as very positive and constructive.

“The first meetings went very well. We approved the agenda as was discussed prior to coming to the Netherlands with respect to the issues related to energy and education among others. The delegations had the opportunity to add additional points for the next agenda which includes for St. Maarten, the lowering of the costs of living which impacts the quality of life for many citizens especially the vulnerable members of our communities including pensioners. Foreign affairs is another area that has been added to the agenda, especially where it concerns relations with the French side of the island and other countries in the Caribbean Basin where our economic interests plays a role,” Arrindell said.

Arrindell described the discussions with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as interesting.  He stressed again that there have been enough discussions related to constitutional renewal and the focus should now be on how to stimulate economic activity for the countries within the Kingdom.

“I told Prime Minister Rutte that St. Maarten is equipped to make it happen due to its modern sea and airport facilities. The country is looking at ways and means to be less reliant on Dutch development aid funds and to depend on its own resources and the Government is working diligently with respect to becoming self-reliant,” Arrindell said.

The St. Maarten Kingdom Affairs & Inter-parliamentary Relations Committee members will continue with deliberations with their parliamentary colleagues from Curacao, Aruba and the Netherlands on Wednesday. On Wednesday morning parliamentarians will visit the Job Training School Vakcollege SG Zuidwest. There they will be briefed about the curriculum, on-the-job training, the practical program and the linkage with the job market.

On Wednesday afternoon parliamentarians will receive a presentation from the Dutch study financing organization DUO-IB-Groep with respect to the set-up of study funding in the Netherlands. Thereafter, parliamentarians will exchange views and ideas over their respective educational systems within the four countries of the Kingdom and the relationship between education and the job market. Other areas to be explored are the costs of educating the current populace, study financing and brain drain.

The Parliamentarian discussions which officially started on Tuesday will conclude on Friday, June 17 with a press conference. The Sint Maarten parliamentary delegation comprises of President of Parliament Honourable Gracita Arrindell, Chairman of the Kingdom Affairs & Inter-parliamentary Relations Committee Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Roy Marlin, MP Hon. Ruth Douglass, MP Hon. Patrick Illidge, MP Hon. William Marlin, Secretary General of Parliament Jossy Semeleer, and Advisor Ralph Richardson. Members of the St. Maarten delegation are scheduled to return on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19.


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