Mediating in the KingdomPOSTED: 11/30/11 7:01 AM
St. Maarten and Curacao have found each other in a proposal to look at putting end dates to the Consensus Kingdom Laws. Aruba is also willing to help them by serving as mediator with the Netherlands. This unity among the Caribbean countries that are part of the Kingdom stands in their favor, but they may have chosen the wrong issues to unite around.
St. Maarten and Curacao are very much displeased with the Consensus Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision. Aruba does not have that struggle and so has placed itself in a ticklish spot where it must warn its Caribbean counterparts about spending sprees, while helping them remind the Dutch government that they need time and money to develop their governmental infrastructure and capacity. The Dutch government is not likely to want to hear removing especially financial because of the huge bills it has just written off and the fact that it has its own budget challenges.
The latter two points are key especially since Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has already said that the basis of St. Maarten’s vision on the Kingdom is a financial and economic partnership. The economic part may well win approval, but holding out a bag to get money will be met with a cold shoulder. How and whether the Arubans can mediate that is up in the air. Whether St. Maarten even wants them to is another question.
Time will tell and next month’s Kingdom Conference is sure to provide some of the answers.