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Editorial - Posted by on August 2, 2013

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Editorial: Caught in limbo

That the St. Maarten Tourist Authority is slow in becoming a reality is an insult to the term understatement. The Tourist Statistical Information system TSIS is equally caught in limbo. What is wrong with all these people who are supposed to make

Editorial - Posted by on August 1, 2013

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Editorial: Good move

Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake showed what he is made of after he discovered that a contractor started work on the Foga infrastructure project without valid permits and while there is no budget available to pay for the work. The 6-million guilder pro

Editorial - Posted by on July 31, 2013

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Editorial: Monologue of former Justice Minister Duncan

With a monologue that lasted just four-and-a-half minutes, former Justice Minister Roland Duncan has created the impression that he was forced to step down after the fall of the previous government - and that he is bitter about it. Duncan speaks a

Editorial - Posted by on July 30, 2013

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Editorial: Stumbling blocks

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams call for continued economic growth may have raised some eyebrows in the private sector - the place where that growth has to manifest itself. Seldom have we heard members of parliament say anything positive about the

Editorial - Posted by on July 29, 2013

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Editorial: Integrity issues

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams' remarks about Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's suggestion  to Governor Holiday about an integrity-probe neatly coincides with statements Ronald Bandell, the chairman of the Progress Committee for St. Maarten, makes i

Editorial - Posted by on July 29, 2013

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Editorial: Visitation

The word visitation has an ominous feel, and we understand that the police force was initially not to happy to become the subject of such an exercise. Now that the work is complete and the report is there, everybody is happy. The visitation commit

Editorial - Posted by on July 26, 2013

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Editorial: Settlement

The story that Robbie's Lottery owner Robbie dos Santos wants to settle his court case with the Public Prosecutor's Office has not been confirmed yet, but the thought of such a possibility to escape criminal prosecution must have caused some concerns

Editorial - Posted by on July 25, 2013

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Editorial: Failure

Finance Minister Hassink announced yesterday that the amended 2013 budget will be ready for approval by the parliament by the end of next month, or at the beginning of September. The minister inherited a flawed budget and he has to deal with it. A

Editorial - Posted by on July 24, 2013

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Editorial: Schotte’s problem

Predictably, MFK-leader Gerrit Schotte was the first one to deny prior knowledge of the Wiels-assassination. This may very well be true, but Schotte's problem is obviously that the perception that he might have known something will not be eradicated

Editorial - Posted by on July 23, 2013

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Editorial: Unnecessary complication

So far, family members have been unable to make contact with Marcel Loor, who was reportedly arrested at the airport of Orly in Paris on Thursday morning. While the circumstances of the arrest are unclear, and the accusations of drugs smuggling ar

Editorial - Posted by on July 22, 2013

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Editorial: Silly season

The fuss in the Netherlands about the position of the Caribbean islands in the Kingdom is a typical piece of non-news. Prime Minister Rutte simply stated a fact, and there is nothing new about it. Apparently Dutch journalists have not considered t

Editorial - Posted by on July 22, 2013

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Editorial: Sharing concerns

Prime Minister Rutte's concerns about St. Maarten held no surprises for anyone familiar with the local situation. Money, justice and integrity are the keywords. That the budget has to be established is a bit of a no-brainer. That there are justice

Editorial - Posted by on July 19, 2013

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Editorial: Secret service

It becomes slowly but surely clear that our country has been rather sloppy in its dealings with one of the most sensitive departments it has: the National Security Service VDSM. That money has gone missing - or is not properly accounted for - is o

Editorial - Posted by on July 18, 2013

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Editorial: Unfortunate

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams used the word unfortunate several times to describe her opinion about statements independent MP Frans Richardson made about the investigation into irregularities at the National Security Service. The MP spoke of a br

Editorial - Posted by on July 17, 2013

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Editorial: Apology

Yesterday we published a picture on our front page with the story about the imminent criminal investigation against former Minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus and her husband Claudius. We realize that using the picture in this context was a serious e

Editorial - Posted by on July 16, 2013

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Editorial: Interesting challenge

There is a significant queue of draft ordinances waiting for approval at the parliament. It is a sad testimony to the lackluster performance of the fifteen MPs that are supposed to represent the interest of the people that elected them. Why all th

Editorial - Posted by on July 15, 2013

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Editorial: Youth detention

The concept of a youth detention facility that Justice Minister Dennis Richardson envisions sounds like the plan St. Maarten has been waiting for. The minister's approach could create a temporary solution in the mid-term and afterwards create addi

Editorial - Posted by on July 15, 2013

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Editorial: Two yardsticks

Kingdom Relations Minister Plasterk seems to have to yardsticks: one for St. Maarten and Curacao, and one for the Dutch public entities Bonaire, Saba and Statia. While Bonaire is engaged in a political controversy that makes St. Maarten look like

Editorial - Posted by on July 12, 2013

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Editorial: Justice

Not all court cases end badly for defendants, even though most trials have something in common: something bad happened. That our justice system is fair appeared once again yesterday from court rulings from the Common Court of Justice. In one ca

Editorial - Posted by on July 11, 2013

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Editorial: Too hot to handle

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams declined yesterday to divulge any details about the investigation into irregularities at the National Security Service VDSM. Up to a point that is understandable: this is an extremely sensitive matter that touches the h

Editorial, St. Maarten News - Posted by on July 11, 2013

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Editorial: Tax compliance

Finance Minister Maarten Hassink must put the fear of God in the (estimated) 65 percent of the population that does not pay taxes the way it should. Tax compliance is, as the minister said drily, his favorite subject. It is, of course, about time, so

Editorial - Posted by on July 9, 2013

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Editorial: Prisoners’ rights

Spending time in the Pointe Blanche prison as a non-paying customer is no walk in the park, but we learn now from a report by the Human Rights Board in the Netherlands that spending time at the prison in Bonaire is no pleasure cruise either. St. M

Editorial - Posted by on July 8, 2013

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Editorial: Active Hurricane Season

Forecasters predict an extremely active hurricane season. For the Caribbean the storm season will be 45 percent stronger than the average over the past century. There is one thing forecasters are not able to predict and that is where these major sto

Editorial - Posted by on July 8, 2013

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Editorial: Resources

Kingdom Relations Minister Plasterk has noted that the National Detective Agency in Curacao has completely insufficient resources to perform its tasks. Based on results, the same is true for its sister organization in St. Maarten. Investigations t

Editorial - Posted by on July 5, 2013

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Editorial: Through the wallet

As long as there is money to be made in the drugs business ugly crimes like the murder on French Quarter resident Gaston Gumbs will continue to happen. There is a way to tackle this issue from a different angle though: through the wallet. How ofte

Editorial - Posted by on July 4, 2013

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Editorial: Farming

Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake has thrown his support behind the development of agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. It makes of course sense: growing your own food is one way of self-support that has been neglected in St. Maarten for too long.

Editorial - Posted by on July 3, 2013

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Editorial: Cockfights

No there was no blood in the courtroom yesterday, but the Ombudsman took the opportunity to describe in graphic detail the cruelty that accompanies cockfights. The state brought a counter-argument: eating meat is also cruel to animals. We could not f

Editorial - Posted by on July 2, 2013

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Editorial: Reform

Julian Romney’s proposal for electoral reform looks interesting at first glance, but a deeper analysis shows quickly that it does not change anything. The d’Hondt formula for the distribution of seats returns the same results as the system that w

Editorial - Posted by on June 27, 2013

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Editorial: Swift justice

Justice as soon as possible. That sounds like a good concept especially for youngsters that have committed a crime. The question is of course what this will look like in practice. It is all fine and dandy to drag youngsters as soon as possible aft

Editorial - Posted by on June 24, 2013

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Editorial: Think tanks

Our young country has no shortage of advisory bodies – from the Social Economic Council and the Council of Advice, to the General Audit Chamber, the Corporate Governance Council and the Ombudsman. There is also the SHTA (hospitality) the SMMTA (mar

Editorial - Posted by on June 21, 2013

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Editorial: Tango

It takes two to tango. That is a loud and clear conclusion from the addresses about good governance and corruption at the SHTA meeting yesterday. Governments cannot be corrupt without counterparts in the private sector that are prepared to pay bribes

Editorial - Posted by on June 20, 2013

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Editorial: Disgrace (honoring Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowships)

Yesterday's editorial about the Rotary Club's standards for naming citizens Paul Harris Fellow lacked clarity about our opinion. We wrote that, according to Rotary, candidates must meet high professional and personal standards. Our point was - and is

Editorial - Posted by on June 19, 2013

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Editorial: Standards

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten named three outstanding members of the community as Paul Harris Fellows. To qualify for this honor, candidates must meet the high professional and high personal standards of Rotary – at least, that’s what the clu

Editorial, St. Maarten News - Posted by on June 18, 2013

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Editorial: Marechaussee

The evaluation report about the deployment of the Marechaussee in St. Maarten brings a few things to light that are reasons for concern. First of all some of these Dutch military police officers apparently have come across what the report euphemis

Editorial, St. Maarten News - Posted by on June 17, 2013

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Editorial: Same dog, different hat

That there was something amiss with Taxand Curacao and the deal it got from former Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto back in 2011 is no secret. But that the situation at the company got so out of hand that the court allowed the appointment of an extern

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