Editorial: Deep divisions

POSTED: 06/13/11 12:58 PM

Lats friday’s statements by Deputy Prime Minister Theodore Heyliger reveal that the Schotte cabinet in Curacao is not the only government in this part of the Kingdom who believes that cooperation between St. Maarten and Curacao is not benefitting the two, nine month old countries. Not only has St. Maarten not been pleased with the collaboration, they’ve been making concrete moves to lessen what it does with institutions based in Willemstad.

The core measures the government has already accomplished are ensuring the premium and other income St. Maarten had in the Antillean Pension Fund (APNA) and the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) have been transferred to St. Maarten.

There also ongoing researches that will lead to less collaboration between the two. One is research into whether or not the island is getting its money’s worth in terms of the Service Level Agreements. The other investigation is research into the value of the shares that St. Maarten had in companies that were once owned by the Netherlands Antilles.

The latest move to end cooperation is the affirmation in Philipsburg that St. Maarten also wants its own Central Bank and that the government is pressing forward with intentions to introduce the U.S. Dollar as the national currency. That is a reaction to the fact that Members of Parliament forming the coalition supporting the Curacao government have unanimously said they want Curacao to have its own Central Bank.

One can argue, based on some of the actions and decisions of the government, that it was St. Maarten that started the two countries down this road. If that is so, no one can really blame them, because it’s been noted that Curacao continues to blame St. Maarten when it wants to deflect attention off the failings of its government. That can be ignored for so long and we take it the leadership here has had enough and are only too willing to grab more opportunities to end this partnership arrangement that, to many, looked and felt like a restructured Netherlands Antilles.

 

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