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Editorial - Posted by on September 5, 2013

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Editorial: Sense of urgency

Judge van de Ven looked perplexed yesterday morning when a prosecutor told him that unconditional prison sentences for suspects that are not detained at the moment of their sentencing cannot be executed at the moment. The message is realistic and

Editorial - Posted by on September 4, 2013

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Editorial: Nice touch

Predictably, the parliament voted yesterday unanimously in favor of a motion against André Bosman’s initiative law to restrict the admission of citizens from St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba to the Netherlands. While Members of Parliament cried f

Editorial - Posted by on September 3, 2013

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Editorial: Core tasks

Finance Minister Hassink’s mission impossible continued with a debate in the central committee yesterday. The minister is miffed that politicians in the Netherlands picked up on his statement – that a zero-budget deficit may be a mission impossib

Editorial - Posted by on September 2, 2013

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Editorial: No sympathy for the Bosman law

That there is no sympathy for the Bosman-law in St. Maarten or elsewhere in the Caribbean is understandable, but the arguments to support this position that we hear are at times weak, at times predictable and at times not helpful at all. The weake

Editorial - Posted by on August 30, 2013

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Editorial: Skimming

Don’t ask what your bank can do for you; ask what you can do for your bank. This liberal interpretation of John F. Kennedy’s famous statement comes to mind after reading the verdict against two Bulgarian skimmers. These defendants got off ligh

Editorial - Posted by on August 29, 2013

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Editorial: Self-regulation

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams prefers that the media engage in self-regulation. Here is a news flash: at Today we have regulated ourselves already. We respect the code of conduct the International Federation of Journalists established in 1954 in Gen

Editorial - Posted by on August 28, 2013

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Editorial: That’s where the money is

Willy Sutton is no longer with us but his legacy lives on. During his lifetime, Sutton robbed more than one hundred banks. Asked by a judge why he was committing these crimes the Irish-American bank robber quipped “Because that’s where the money

Editorial - Posted by on August 27, 2013

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Editorial: Back off

VVD-parliamentarian André Bosman has jumped on Minister Maurice Lake’s initiative against yellow journalism with questions to Kingdom Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk that will meet a predictable fate: St. Maarten is an autonomous country and it w

Editorial - Posted by on August 26, 2013

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Editorial: Distorted picture

What is it with the Cadastre that subsequent ministers feel they have to intervene? The statement we received yesterday from the Cadastre’s management sheds some light on the situation. For years now the Cadastre has kept employees on the payroll i

Editorial - Posted by on August 23, 2013

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Editorial: Andre Bosman’s suggestion a cheap shot

VVD-parliamentarian André Bosman seems to have made St. Maarten his personal hobby. Since his Socialist Party-colleague Ronald van Raak apparently has better things to do than spouting nonsense about our country, Bosman has not missed a single oppor

Editorial - Posted by on August 22, 2013

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Editorial: Step by step

Attorney-General Dick Piar’s call for legislation to protect whistleblowers has already fallen on deaf ears in St. Maarten. At least, this is how we interpret Prime Minister Wescot-Williams statement that she prefers to take things step by step and

Editorial - Posted by on August 21, 2013

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Editorial: Bosman-law

Whether André Bosman’s initiative-law goes into effect or not does not make all that much of a difference. According to constitutional law expert Hoogers (see our front page article) it will not solve the problem it claims to address, so at the en

Editorial - Posted by on August 20, 2013

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Editorial: Another party

With the establishment of the Social Reform Party by former National Alliance-candidate Jacinto Mock the field for next year’s elections has expanded to six contestants – and we suspect that we have not seen the end of this development yet. Sm

Editorial - Posted by on August 19, 2013

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Editorial: Whistleblowers

Attorney-General Dick Piar addressed an interesting issue last Friday: the protection of whistleblowers. Why is this important? Piar notes correctly that many people live in a culture of fear and that they simply do not dare to report abuse – wheth

Editorial - Posted by on August 16, 2013

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Editorial: Perspectives

The Constitutional Court means business, that much became clear from yesterday’s interim ruling. The reference to a ruling from the European Human Rights Court indicates which way the judges are leaning with respect to the perspectives from crimina

Editorial - Posted by on August 15, 2013

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Editorial: Core tasks of Government

The initiative to do a study into the core tasks of government is a good one, for sure. It is also an initiative that could lead to some unrest in the civil service, certainly after Prime Minister Wescot-Williams floated the idea to outsource certain

Editorial - Posted by on August 14, 2013

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Editorial: Short-term contracts

The Council of Advice played the ball right back at the Central Committee when suddenly a question popped up about the infamous short-term labor contracts. Never mind that in civil law there are only two types of labor contracts: temporary and perman

Editorial - Posted by on August 13, 2013

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Editorial: Inevitable conclusion (Prince Johan Friso)

The death of Prince Johan Friso brings a tragedy that happened close to one-and-a-half years ago to its inevitable conclusion. After he was rescued from that avalanche in Lech the prince never stood a realistic chance of recovery. His legacy is th

Editorial - Posted by on August 12, 2013

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Editorial: Financial trouble of Caravanserai

That the Caravanserai Beach Resort is in financial hot water is a sign that the economic crisis has cut deeper than many want to hear or even to believe. The resort’s expansion has come to a full stop, the contractor has left the job and it does

Editorial - Posted by on August 12, 2013

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Editorial: Lame event

The visit of the Collectivité d’Outre Mer de Saint Martin to the parliament in Philipsburg might have come across as a lame event, but it is significant all the same. The visit of our French neighbors exuded an atmosphere of willingness to (fin

Editorial - Posted by on August 9, 2013

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Editorial: Secret service

The first meeting of the Central Committee after the summer recess certainly did not mark a bright and new beginning. On the contrary, the arguments brought forth by the opposition sounded old and did not make a lot of sense. It was more about emotio

Editorial - Posted by on August 8, 2013

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Editorial: Deadwood

The government has put a stop on hiring new personnel. That sounds like a wise move, even though there will of course always be critical vacancies that must be filled. But for now, with the financial quandary the country has maneuvered itself into

Editorial - Posted by on August 7, 2013

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Editorial: Under the microscope

Are the high tariffs local subscribers pay for mobile communication justified? On the face of it, we notice inexplicable differences between countries like the Netherlands and Lithuania, Romania and Latvia. It is impossible for telecommunication volu

Editorial - Posted by on August 6, 2013

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Editorial: Openness

With the return of Gracita Arrindell as the President of Parliament, a new phase of openness seems to have arrived. The glass partition of the hall where parliamentarians meet has been stripped of its gray tint, making it possible again for the publi

Editorial - Posted by on August 5, 2013

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Editorial: Reclaimed asphalt

The decision by former Vromi-minister Marlin and the airport to just give the milled asphalt coming from the airport runway away for free to private parties seems odd. It may look like a cost saving measure for the government, but in fact, the materi

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

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