Approval of Dutch terms a positive signal, says Knops


THE HAGUE–Dutch State Secretary of Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on Thursday called it a “positive signal” that the St. Maarten Parliament has approved the Dutch conditions for the Reconstruction Fund.

  The motion of no-confidence the St. Maarten Parliament adopted on Thursday effectively sending the Government of Prime Minister William Marlin home was deemed an important step by The Hague.

  However, the political crisis that has evolved on the island has caused “much uncertainty,” according to Knops. “We don’t know what will happen next,” he said, adding that he would think the situation over.

  As soon as the motions have been executed, the Netherlands will move to finance the Reconstruction Fund. “But we have to await what happens next,” said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK.

  The Dutch Government will wait until it is clear that the new St. Maarten Government will indeed carry out the motions. Another uncertain factor is whether indeed early elections will be called by the ousted government as Marlin had announced he would do in case the motion of no-confidence was passed.

  The Netherlands will only go ahead with establishing the Reconstruction Fund with several hundred million euros when the St. Maarten Government has given its full consent to the Dutch conditions: the setting up of an Integrity Chamber and the stationing of more Royal Dutch Marechaussees (Military Police) and Customs personnel to increase border control.

  Knops had contact with St. Maarten Governor Eugene Holiday on Thursday to discuss the developments. Holiday provided Knops with an update on the situation. Knops made a call, through Holiday, to prevent a political crisis, to agree with the conditions, thereby paving the road for the start of the reconstruction.

Source: The Daily Herald