Prime Minister says life at St. Maarten House is no luxury

POSTED: 09/30/11 1:10 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams has confirmed that Perry Geerlings, who is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Stichting Kadaster and Hypotheekwezen, is part of the staff of the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague. Geerlings’ name had been mentioned as an adviser to the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary and the prime minister was asked to clarify the point at Wednesday’s Council of Ministers press briefing.

“This is not something of now. The Minister Plenipotentiary established the formation of his cabinet and his cabinet included a financial person, a socio-economic person, a legal person and the Acting Minister Plenipotentiary. The Minister Plenipotentiary then came to St. Maarten. He had discussions with different persons on St. Maarten, had interviews with different persons, sat with personnel affairs and went through the different candidates that had applied and at the end of the day several persons came out. Mr. Geerlings contract is also one of 2010, mind you, as part of the formation of the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary. I realize it was mentioned here and there. Others were interviewed and you have to be willing to relocate to the Netherlands. But his (Geerling’s) contract like Mr. Panneflek’s contract was made up back in 2010 and his position is part of the formation of the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister then stressed that life for the Minister Plenipotentiary and his staff is no luxury because the government has complied with the minimum requirements of the formation plan.

“If you see how sober and lean the St. Maarten House is, you will understand it is no luxury there. Not in terms of personnel. We have two persons currently at the cabinet of the minister plenipotentiary that basically have to leave The Hague and go to Brussels for meetings that are taking place there, travel and come back, because we don’t have sufficient staff at the St. Maarten House to do basically the functions of a minister plenipotentiary. If you see the office there, so it’s definitely not a luxury in terms of staff,” Wescot-Williams said.

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