Dutch Representative screens Troonrede in Holland House: “We have shared interests”

POSTED: 09/18/15 12:48 PM


Gert Versluis en Wim de Visser - HHDutch representative Gert Versluis (left) and Milton Peters College Director Wim de Visser at the presentation of the Troonrede by King Willem Alexander at Holland House. Photo Today / Hilbert Haar

St. Maarten – The instruction of the Kingdom government to amend the 2015 budget is a “mega-challenge,” Dutch representative Gert Versluis said yesterday at an informal gathering at Holland House where his office screened the Troonrede of King Willem Alexander. “It is good that we have a very good minister of finance here who is qualified to tackle that problem. That is not a given for everyone.”

Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, dignitaries like Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin and General Audit Chamber Chairman Ronald Halman, but also archeologist Dr. Jay Haviser and Milton Peters College Director Wim de Visser were among the guests who answered the call to view the Troonrede.

“This way we hope to provide some insight in what is happening on the other side of the ocean,” Versluis said in a brief welcome speech. “It is another country, with a different climate and a different mores. Still, this is important because we share things with each other in the Kingdom. We have shared interests. Our prime minister said it a couple of years ago very plain – making money together, that is what we actually want. We are grown up countries that work together in the Kingdom in a useful and pleasant manner.”

Versluis noted that the Troonrede contains exactly one line about the Caribbean part of the kingdom. “That is how it should be,” he quipped. “Listen carefully and you will hear it yourself.”

The Dutch budget for 2016 offers more money for law enforcement and part of those resources will come to St. Maarten, Versluis pointed out with a reference to the fight against corruption and undermining criminality. “There are intense talks between the governments of the Netherlands and St. Maarten about how to do this. There are some bottlenecks but we still have the conviction that we will be able to reach an agreement. Sometimes there is emotion, such as in the parliament on Monday. But I can assure you that this morning we were again brotherly around the table with the minister of justice for constructive consultation.”

The line about the Caribbean in the Troonrede? That one read like this: “Together with the Caribbean part of the Kingdom the Netherlands keeps working on a good future.”


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