Curacao, The Netherlands to appoint joint committee on Central Bank

POSTED: 06/3/11 7:00 PM

THE HAGUE/WILLEMSTAD/GREAT BAY – The Kingdom Council of Ministers decided Wednesday to install an independent committee to investigate the row between President of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten Emsley Tromp and members of the Schotte cabinet. The committee will include representatives from Curacao and the Netherlands and will have to take into account a motion filed by the Movement for Curacao’s Future (MFK) that the General Audit Chamber of Curacao investigates the operations at the Central Bank.
Wednesday’s meeting preceded Schotte’s departure for Spain. At the end of the gathering he said, “This is an extremely serious situation where the President of the Central Bank and members of the government have discredited one another and as a government we felt we needed external expertise for an independent investigation and today we have decided on forming the joint committee with The Netherlands.”
Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner added, “This is not a form of higher supervision. This is a joint response to something that touches every country in the Kingdom. This joint committee is the right way to go.”
Asked about whether the allegations leveled against the government were discussed in the meeting Schotte said, “The Public Prosecutor is investigating that.”
There’s no confirmation on what role the Dutch Central Bank will play. Sources have said that Tromp requested they do a survey of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten’s operations, but a spokesman – Tobias Oudejans – has said they’re not commenting.

Further discussions
Schotte and Donner discussed the Central Bank controversy on Tuesday as part of a list of other agenda items. Schotte gave Donner information on the latest developments and the fallout it has led to. That fallout includes damage to the reputation of the Central Bank and to Curacao’s financial sector.
Schotte and Donner also talked about the possibility of Curacao continuing to use the expertise of the technicians at USONA to oversee the projects funded by Dutch development aid. Dutch financing for the organization will cease in 2012, but the Schotte government wants a prolongation, so the agency can monitor the projects.
Schotte also met Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal about embassies in the region. The Dutch government wants to close several of its embassies to save costs, but Schotte wants it done in such a way that it will not harm the economy of Curacao. He’s also requested that representatives from Curacao be placed at particular embassies.
“One example is that diplomats can play a key role in discussions with the Government of Venezuela on finding a solution for the pollution problems at the Isla Oil Refinery,” Schotte said.
Schotte and Rosenthal also discussed the issuance of visas to Caribbean nationals. The Curacaolenean leader said he’s received complaints that the process does not always run smoothly.

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