Editorial: A consistent basis

That the Kingdom Council of Ministers rejected Curaçao’s appeal against the extension of financial supervision (see related story) is obviously relevant for St. Maarten as well. The decision follows the – in this case – binding advice of the Council of State, which is generally known to take the interests of the Dutch Caribbean seriously.

It’s also important to note that former Antillean banker Ron Gomes Casseres chairs the Evaluation Committee which recommended prolonging the measure to safeguard public finances in the two territories that gained country status as a result of the constitutional reforms per 10-10-10. While improvements had been made, the financial management was still not up to par.

St. Maarten didn’t file an appeal, but managed to get its balanced 2016 budget past the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT, while the one of 2015 had never received such approval and the 2014 version ended up with a financing deficit. Still, there was no real push locally to try to lift the supervision, most probably because of the budgetary issues in the last few years.

Many in fact feel comfortable with the presence of the CFT as a safeguard when it comes to the national treasury. One also can’t overlook that the former Netherlands Antilles had built up a debt of 5 billion guilders, which could be eliminated thanks to assistance of the Dutch Government.

People must take into account as well that the two young countries are still in a monetary union with a shared Central Bank and joint currency. Any major financial or economic crisis of one country in terms of foreign exchange therefore easily could affect the other.

All this doesn’t mean the supervision should stay forever, but before it is removed both governments need to show that they can manage their financial households in a responsible manner on a consistent basis.
Source: Daily Herald
A consistent basis