SER calls for fact-based debate “Dollarization scare, emotional statements”POSTED: 12/20/13 12:12 PM
St. Maarten – The Social Economic Council (SER) has taken note of the media coverage its advice “Monetary union in view of recent alarming balance of payments developments” has received on Sint Maarten as well as Curacao from the time the advice was made public by way of the National Gazette on November 22.
The current advice is a follow up to the previous SER advice 2013-001 “Sint Maarten stepping out of the monetary union” which was submitted to government on February 28 of this year.
With regards to Sint Maarten leaving the monetary union, the SER would like to re-emphasize that a well-prepared and organized transition process will probably take at least a full year. Furthermore, in the advice to government negative price effects on consumer goods, purchasing power, devaluation, our economy, and the role of the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten were taken into consideration. In the view of the SER, it is imperative for the debate on the future of the monetary union and the choice of our currency, to be conducted in a well-informed, factual and rational manner. In connection with this, the SER wishes to counter the ongoing local “dollarization scare” which in part has been caused by the lack of information available to the public, and is further aggravated by unsubstantiated and emotional statements.
“The SER advice by no means intends to criticize the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten as an institution or its role in safeguarding our monetary union. The findings of the SER were based on information which was made available by the Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was highlighted in their 2011 article IV consultation,” the council said in a press release.
“The SER is aware that the mere mention of dissolution of the monetary union with Curaçao was not received well by several politicians in that country; however, the advice in no way was meant to create the impression that there is a problem between the governments of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The fundamental problem between Sint Maarten and Curaçao is that our economies do not operate in the same manner, which in turn has created a problem with our balance of payments and our foreign exchange reserve,” the SER added.
“The sole purpose of the advice is to advise and prepare the government of Sint Maarten of the consequences it will endure if the monetary union is kept intact. Discussions on possible solutions should be held in a responsible manner and decisions made based on facts, not emotions,” the statement continued.
The SER mentioned that it is evident that this topic needs the immediate attention of the decision makers, as the island can no longer ignore the ongoing deterioration of the external situation of the monetary union with Curacao.
The SER advice “Monetary union in view of recent alarming balance of payments developments” as well as the original advice “Sint Maarten stepping out of the monetary union” are available for download from www.sersxm.org