PM Wescot-Williams reacts to Central Bank row “We shall not buckle under any type of intimidation”

POSTED: 04/25/12 3:56 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot- Williams made it abundantly clear in an initial reaction to a letter received from Curacao’s Prime Minister Schotte on April 19 indicating his government’s wish to annul the St. Maarten harbor bond issue, that she shall not buckle under any type of intimidation. The statement was issued yesterday by the PM’s newly established press service.

Schotte indicated in the letter his government’s intention to annul or seek annulment of the bond issue and added that he will “tolerate no resistance to his government’s plans to do so.” The letter also contained a hardly veiled threat of criminal prosecution in the matter.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Wescot-Williams stated that she has already made it very clear that none of the two countries could “unilaterally interfere in Central Bank matters without taking the Bank’s Charter into consideration”. The Prime Minister went on to say that the Government of Curacao has never countered the arguments of the Central Bank regarding its role in the issuance of the bond for the Harbor of St. Maarten; principal in the bank’s considerations for guaranteeing the bond issue is St. Maarten’s economy and the need for economic activities benefiting St. Maarten to continue to develop.

Wescot-Williams also made it clear that this is not the way two governments should deal with each other and she was also very adamant that her government could no longer sit back and accept the damage that the debacle surrounding the Central Bank is causing the image of. St. Maarten.

What she lamented most however, was the intimidation levied against the St. Maarten nominees on the board of the Central Bank; “It should be noted that both the governments of Curacao and that of St. Maarten have appointed these members. Acts of protest are part of any democracy, however when representatives of the people not only take part, but use intimidation tactics to drive their message home, and incite citizens against one another, it is a sad day for the same democratic principles,” Wescot-Williams said in reaction to the protest on Curacao on Saturday morning in front of the Central Bank building.

The press statement said that the government has sought legal counsel about Schotte’s letter and that it will be handling this matter this week.


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