PM, Finance Minister miss budget consultation with Cft

POSTED: 03/29/11 3:07 AM

Beergsma: Meeting still possible

St. Maarten – The Board of Financial Supervision (Cft) expressed regret Monday for what they called an “apparent lack of cooperation from St. Maarten in the process of reaching a solution for the 2011 draft budget.” The Board communicated this feeling in a statement issued after a meeting with Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto did not go ahead. Cft Secretary Geert Beergsma said everything was ready for a planned video conference but the two ministers never arrived.

“Everything was set up. We had talks at the technical level to prepare and then during the weekend we tested everything to make sure the board members in the Netherlands could also be present, but at the last moment the ministers did not show up,” Beergsma said.

In a statement on Monday night the prime minister and finance minister said they were unable to attend due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

The Cft Secretary said no one called after the ministers did not show up and said the board has surmised that maybe the ministers want to finalize a position in the Council of Ministers, which has its regular meeting on Tuesday before presenting a stand point. He also said that a meeting could still be held this week.

“We have already been proactive and submitted our advice. We are now waiting for St. Maarten to submit their position. It is still possible for the meeting to take place when the ministers have come to a standpoint. It is important though that they do this in time to present their vision on our proposals when the Kingdom Council of Ministers meets on this point on April 1,” Beergsma said.

Monday’s consultation was aimed at finalizing the package of measures that would allow St. Maarten to meet the norms of the Kingdom Law Financial Supervision Curacao and St. Maarten. The Cft submitted a new proposal on this on Friday. These will be discussed in the Council of Ministers today and a formal response will be sent at the end of the meeting.

Parties have been discussing this point since the beginning of March when the Cft said it could not give a positive advice on the budget. Parties then sought to develop a joint plan of approach and the Cft confirmed on Monday that “St. Maarten later came back from these agreements.” At a meeting on March 17 Donner urged the prime minister and government by extension to work with the Cft to come to a solution.

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