DEN HAAG:— “It was a great meeting” were the sentiments of Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier following their meeting with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte on Thursday morning in Den Haag.
Prime Minister Rutte greeted the two Ministers from Sint Maarten warmly at his Cabinet where they discussed a wide range of topics including the progress of the ongoing recovery of Sint Maarten, the reconstruction Fund, progress of arrangements with the World Bank, French & Dutch cooperation on St. Maarten and the overall urgency to address the needs of the people of Sint Maarten.
Minister Ferrier took the opportunity to briefly express his frustrations with the fact that regular, lengthy processes must be followed in order for Sint Maarten to eventually access the fund that will be managed by the World Bank. While it is understandable that Sint Maarten must comply with international World Bank and IMF standards, it is obvious that this too will cause delays. Any delay translates into more waiting for relief by persons in dire need of assistance. Getting the processes completed in a timely fashion, will prevent persons from falling between the cracks.
Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin made special mention of the ongoing efforts to complete the setting up of the Integrity Chamber and Border Control, the two conditions set by Holland in order for Sint Maarten to receive the promised financial aid.
The meeting which started on a light note with both Ministers belatedly congratulating the Dutch Prime Minister on his 51st birthday, which he celebrated on Valentine’s Day, ended on the same light note with a hug of PM Romeo-Marlin by her colleague Rutte.