Spies: “It is up to Curacao to take the necessary measures”

POSTED: 07/19/12 12:16 PM

THE HAGUE – Outgoing Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies has expressed the hope that the government of Curaco will now take up its responsibility and bring its budget into compliance with the stipulations of the Kingdom Law Financial Supervision Curacao and St. Maarten. The hope is part of a three page letter Spies sent the Second Chamber on July 18 informing them about the decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to give Curacao an instruction to repair its budget by September 1. That same day Spies sent the government of Curacao, the parliament of Curacao and the governor of Curacao a copy of the decision. Curacao’s Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte plans to appeal the decision with the Council of State, but Spies says that the instruction took effect the moment it was signed and that Curacao mustr comply.
“It is up to Curacao to take the necessary measures and not to burden the other kingdom partners with its affairs. In the unlikely event that Curacao does not deploy the necessary efforts or if it does not make progress fast enough, then they should know that there is the option of the guarantee function. I assume Curacao wishes to prevent such a situation so that they can fulfill their desire for autonomy in handling their finances and their policy,” Spies states.
The minister’s letter to the Second Chamber also reveals that Curacao will not be able to seek any further financial assistance from the Kingdom government until the budget is back in order. This is line with a motion submitted by Andre Bosman and approved by the Second Chamber.
Spies also makes clear in her letter that she will have regular contact with the Board of financial supervision (Cft) about Curacao’s progress on implementing the instruction and pledges to deliver regular reports to the parliament. The minister also makes clear that the Netherlands is pushing Curacao to bring and keep its current and future finances in order because the Netherlands will not accept the consequences of Curacao’s choices, especially since the Dutch government already wiped away 1.9 billion guilders of Curacao’s debt as part of the debt restructuring program in the process of constitutional change.
Spies also pointed that Curacao and the Netherlands are in a phase where they must make reforms in their finances, particularly on healthcare and pensions, in order to continue having a healthy financial position. She says though that Curacao is not recognizing the facts and is not listening to the advice of the Cft.
“Curaçao, until now, has not quite adequately recognized and acknowledged the size of the problem and seems to persist in continuing financial policies that will lead to an accumulation of structural problem for Curacao in the foreseeable future. That is obviously not good for relationships within the kingdom, but more importantly the citizens of Curaçao will have to pay the price,” Spies states in her letter.
Earlier in her letter she’d stated, “Although the debt of Curaçao is not relatively significant at this time, the debt can reach a high level in the foreseeable if there is not a change in policy. It is now important for Curacao to strictly observe the regulations in the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision.”
The minister stressed the “necessity” of the instruction by pointing that the government has not fully translated oral advices and written analyses from the Cft into concrete reforms despite numerous cautions and the fact that she has expressed her concerns during numerous meetings with the government.
“Until now the government of Curacao has repeatedly shown insufficient direction and commitment to implement the necessary steps and measures to head off budgetary problems,” Spies writes.

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