Plasterk re-confirms: no more debt relief

POSTED: 02/5/13 12:29 PM

_Ronald Plasterk in SXM

St. Maarten – The door on debt relief for St. Maarten is closed forever. Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk reiterated this last week in a letter to the Dutch Parliament wherein he sums up the results of his trip to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom in January.
“I have spoken firmly about the country’s finances,” Plasterk reports in his letter about his visit to St. Maarten. “My point of departure is that the Kingdom law financial supervision is not a goal in itself, but that the Kingdom law serves the functioning of the country St. Maarten for its  had talks in St. Maarten during the same week and it gave a negative advice about the draft budget and it also provided advice about adjusting the budget. It is now up to St. Maarten to submit a new budget within two weeks.”

“I hope St. Maarten takes that responsibility and thus prevents an instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers. In these talks the government of St. Maarten argued again that it had has a false start as a new country because it was unable to substantiate all claims for the debt relief. They created the impression that the future of St. Maarten in the Kingdom depends on reopening talks about debt relief. I have re-confirmed that the Dutch government does not plan to re-open that window.”

Plasterk furthermore reported to the parliament that he had spoken about the Winair tariffs, double taxation, the sea cable and medical emergency transport by helicopter in the context of St. Maarten’s relationship with its neighbors Saba and Statia. “From the Dutch perspective there still is not a satisfactory solution for these issues,” Plasterk wrote.
The minister added that he agreed with St. Maarten to send a letter clarifying the Dutch position on these issues and that he will also propose solutions.

Plasterk also spoke with the government about the evaluation in 2015. “I want to make agreements with the countries and the islands in a timely manner about the what, the how and the when. My purpose is not to head for new far-reaching constitutional changes, but to fine-tune the current construction. I have the impression that this line is currently broadly supported.”

Minister Plasterk will discuss his trip and the content of his letter with the parliament on February 12 and with the Senate today.

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