Minister Spies confirms again: debt relief chapter is closed

POSTED: 09/10/12 12:48 AM

THE HAGUE – Outgoing Kingdom Relations Minister Liesbeth Spies said it again in a meeting with the Ocan, the lobby group for Caribbean people in the Netherlands: the debt relief chapter is closed for good. “The time that The Netherlands almost automatically paid deficits is over,” the Minister said. Last week, Finance Minister Roland Tuitt insisted that St. Maarten could still get its hands on almost 120 million guilders in unclaimed debt relief from the next Dutch government. But according to Spies the Dutch government has paid €1.5 billion $1.9 billion) and it is now definitely over.
Minister Spies said that the instruction the Kingdom Council of Ministers gave to the Schotte-cabinet on July 13 has the support of a large part of Curacao’s population. “People there have seen that something has to happen. Not only for now, but especially for the future. I understand that the focus is now on the elections. That is good: like in the Netherlands on September 12, on October 19 the democracy will speak in Curacao.”
Spies said that the decision to issue the instruction had not been taken light-heartedly. “The advice from the board for financial supervision Cft was unanimous and well- thought through. The instruction is a logical and a necessary step, because having unbalanced government finances is a serious fact.”
Minister Spies said that a balanced budget is in the interest of the people in Curacao. “They are entitles to good healthcare, good education, sufficient work and safety. That is only possible when the bookkeeping is in order.”
The government in Curacao is fully responsible for the country’s financial management, Spies said. “I hope that the instruction has opened the government’s eyes for the fact that it will be unable to cope with the financial problems if it does not take drastic measures fast.”
Spies said that the Schotte-cabinet has made an effort to correct the situation in healthcare and with the retirement age. “What I miss are the results. They are making plans but they don’t execute them. I find that very disappointing.”

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