Aruban budget conflict Bosman warns against emotional statements

POSTED: 07/27/14 11:30 PM

THE HAGUE – Rumors and emotional statements are seriously disrupting the relationships in the Kingdom in the conflict between Aruba and the Kingdom Council of Ministers, according to VVD-MP André Bosman. “Be careful with emotional statements that are not necessarily true, and with ballyhoo. Keep it business-like.” There are plenty of speculations in the media about the reason why Governor Fredis Refunjol did not sign Aruba’s 2014 budget on Monday, Jamila Baaziz reports on Caribisch Netwerk. Refunjol traveled to the Netherlands after the first results of the investigation into the budget became public. Prime Minister Mike Eman said earlier that the Governor had been told that he would be punishable if he did sign the budget. “Eman is an emotional man,” Bosman says. “He admits that himself. But you should not make these kinds of statements. If you do that too often, you disqualify yourself as prime minister. That is not sensible. Eman has also said that the VVD hates the islands, but that is not true and he knows it. I love the islands but their finances have to be in order.” The Antilliaans Dagblad wrote on Thursday that Prime Minister Mark Rutte possibly pointed out article 25 of the ordinance to the governor. That article regulates which actions by the governor are punishable by law. Bosman finds such statements damaging to the relationships within the Kingdom. He did not speak with Rutte because the prime minister is busy with the aftermath of the MH17 airplane disaster in the Ukraine. However, Bosman does not believe that his fellow-party member has made such a statement: “This is ballyhoo. Back it up with evidence; otherwise this is hearsay. That is damaging to the chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Rutte.” Bosman is confident that Governor Refunjol is assessing the budget in peace and he is convinced that the Aruban government will get the opportunity to take measures to get its finances in order. “But then it will have to happen. Sometimes I think that Aruba still does not recognize that the level of its national debt is a huge problem. I am happy that the Kingdom Council of Ministers is now taking action. I have – as one of the few – consistently indicated that Aruba’s budget is a reason for concern. Eman knows that, so this is not a surprise.” Fitch Ratings downgraded Aruba’s status on Wednesday to BBB-. That shows according to Bosman that there really is reason for concern. “They also say that Aruba’s finances are not sustainable. The idea that Aruba is heading for a junk-status is really scandalous within the Kingdom.”

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