Government meets with Collectivité of St. Martin

POSTED: 11/22/12 1:29 PM

St. Maarten – The first executive meeting between the Council of Ministers and the Collectivité of St. Martin was described as very “frank,” by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams yesterday. The meeting was attended by six of the seven ministers, with Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Romeo Pantophlet being absent.  It was held on Tuesday and was the outcome of a Memorandum of Understanding that the two sides of the island signed earlier this year.

Another meeting will be held on December 7 where the Préfet Délégue Philippe Chopin will also be in attendance.

“It was a frank meeting to highlight issues that are in the interest of both governments,” the prime minister said.

Discussions centered on issues such as waste management, social services, infrastructure, transportation and education. In the area of education, cross border movement, transportation and compulsory education were focused on.

The two sides of the island plan to meet twice annually in a similar setting.

Finance Minister Roland Tuitt said that one area that particularly concerned him was “persons make use and misuse of both sides of the island.”

“A lot of companies on both sides of the island make bad use of the area. You are not registered on the Dutch side and you make use of the French side and vice versa so you fall between the cracks.”

The minister said that since St. Maarten has an agreement with France for the exchange of  information, both sides of the island will be making use of it “so that all of the companies that are slipping through the cracks right now we will catch up with you.”


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