Opinion: “That other island”

POSTED: 10/16/11 11:32 PM

The name Curacao was never mentioned at the high councils of state symposium, but everybody understood Justice Bob Wit when he referred on occasion to “that other island.” Once he also launched a flippant remark about the Central Bank, but unfortunately he opted not to elaborate.
From whichever angle one looks at the situation, St. Maarten ought to call itself fortunate, even though the ruckus in Curacao could have dire consequences for our island as well. And how fortunate are we, indeed?
We do not have a government that occupies its days with a rigorous changing of the guard, we do not have a government that occupies its days with calling the Kingdom government names, and we do not have a government that is on a consistent basis at the throat of anyone who dares to disagree.
Of course, we have a government that paints the government building in party colors, and we have a government that has seen fit to kick its head of the finance department to the curb; on the other hand, we also have a government that basically pressured a wayward minister to pack her bags, so all in all, compared to that other island things are pretty meek here.
The concern about the Central Bank is real though. The parliament in Willemstad has passed a motion that basically tells the Bank’s president, dr. Emsley Tromp, to bugger off, or else. Never mind that the politicians in Willemstad are taking on the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.
The political sabre rattling by Schotte and Co. happily ignores the fact that – by putting pressure on Tromp – it violates article 18 of the Central Bank charter. That states loud and clear that the governments of the countries St. Maarten and Curacao oblige themselves to refrain from attempts to influence members of the board of commissioners or the bank’s management.
Article 20, paragraph 3 states that the countries have the authority to dismiss the Bank’s President, but this is only possible when the board of commissioners recommends this and only if the government then comes with a national decree that states the reasons for the dismissal.
Now we have a situation whereby the parliament in Curacao, fired up by the government it is supposed to control, is going like a mad elephant after Tromp. In doing so it is violating the Central Bank charter. In doing so, it is also showing that is has no clue about proper procedures.
Now that is not a reason for concern, we don’t know what is. The government and the parliament go about their business like a bunch of henchmen. They smell blood, and they want blood. But it looks very much like they are not going to get it.

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