Opinion: Major headache

POSTED: 10/22/12 1:01 PM

Helmin Wiels has something to celebrate in Curacao but at the same time the surprise winner of Friday’s elections inherits a major headache if indeed he becomes the country’s new Prime Minister. While this is none of our business, the question is obviously whether this headache will spill over to St. Maarten and in that respect we fear the worst.
Wiels is, as everybody knows, not a supporter of the Kingdom-concept. He is lost in neo-colonial thinking whereby he places his country constantly in the victim role. For the elections, that worked out just fine. Wiels played his role as the man of the people perfectly by showing up to vote dressed in workman’s clothing and even sporting a hard hat.
But when it comes to establishing relationships within the Kingdom Wiels will have a major communication problem. He has a tendency of walking out of meetings when things don’t go his way and he has of course made quite some statements that will probably inspire a lot of people in Curacao to start looking for the emergency exit.
Wiels has said, for one, that all makambas (Dutch) ought to be sent back to the Netherlands in body bags. He has said that he will change all street names that are now in the Dutch language. And he is without any doubt the man behind the top hundred of unwanted people that appeared on Facebook just before the elections. Near the top of that list is Dr. Emsley Tromp, the president of the Central Bank.
That is where the headache from Willemstad will spill over in St. Maarten, because our government will now have to find ways to cooperate with a man who does not want to cooperate. A man who most likely thinks that St. Maarten is an even bigger pain in Curacao’s behind than the president of the central bank himself.
We foresee that, with Wiels at the helm, the relationship between Curacao and St. Maarten will become more complicated than it already was. That does not mean that it is impossible to find common ground but the playing field has definitely changed.
We also foresee that the media are in for rough weather, given the fact that the former MFK-Minister El Hakim has accused the Antilliaans Dagblad and the Amigoe of twisting the fact and thereby contributing to the discord that is tearing the country apart.
As for the business community: well, under Wiels there will be more efforts to enforce the 80-20 rule, a surefire way to drive the local economy further into the ground. That will lead to more unemployment and to more poverty. Ironically, that is exactly where Wiels finds his power base.
All this obviously does not take away the fact that the people of Curacao have made a clear choice. Instead of voting for change, the electorate has voted for more of the same, be it with a different flavor that could soon prove to be too unpalatable to swallow. But then, and we will stick to this one, every country gets the government it deserves.

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