SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Since the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting on July 10th , whereby Prime Minister Jacobs attended with her colleague Prime Ministers of Aruba and Curacao, and their Ministers Plenipotentiary regarding the liquidity support for 3rd tranche, Prime Minister Jacobs has been in constant contact with her colleague Prime Ministers of Aruba and Curacao about a plan of approach and also lobbying for a joint proposal to the Netherlands. Unfortunately, this has not always prospered as they would have desired as each country has their own challenges.
The Council of Ministers established a work group of legal experts to review the draft Kingdom Law and the enclosed documents. The group of the legal experts consisted of five persons and had a clearly defined goal to do a legal review with a focus on the counterproposal to present to the Netherlands. The Council of Ministers are awaiting the final report which will include other options for St. Maarten.
The letter, in keeping with the related motion of Parliament, was sent to the Dutch State Secretary, R. Knops on Monday, August 3, 2020 after being approved by the Council of Ministers. The letter once again outlined the importance and willingness of St. Maarten’s Government to sit around the table and come up with an alternative proposal together that would be beneficial for both St. Maarten and our Kingdom partner.
In this letter, the different aspects that St. Maarten would like to have adjusted were highlighted, she also outlined St. Maarten’s stance on what structure the agreements that are being made should take on.
Since the last Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting and prior to sending the letter, during the past two weeks, the Prime Minister had spoken to the Dutch State Secretary Knops . In these discussions, Knops had indicated that he would be on vacation soon however, discussions on a technical level would continue.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacobs held a closed-door meeting at Parliament to share information with Parliament and dialogue the letter and its content with the Members of Parliament. The information was well-received by the Members, with some critical opinions that are important and necessary to be taken into account moving forward.
Sint Maarten is now awaiting a response to its letter from the Netherlands and State Secretary Knops in particular. Prime Minister Jacobs remains optimistic about the expected feedback from the Nethelands, so that we can proceed in the interest of the greater good of St. Maarten and its people.