COM discusses relations in Kingdom, 12.5 per cent cuts with Dutch Senate | THE DAILY HERALD

Representatives of the Dutch Senate and the Council of Ministers.

PHILIPSBURG–Relations within the Dutch Kingdom, the Caribbean Body for Reform and Development COHO and the 12.5 per cent personnel-related cost-cutting measures were among the issued the Council of Ministers discussed with members of the Committee of Kingdom Relations of the Dutch Senate during a meeting on Saturday, February 26.

  The visiting delegation consisted of 15 persons and was escorted by the Dutch Representative of the Netherlands in Philipsburg (VNP) Chris Johnson. Both parties concluded that it was a fruitful and open conversation about various discussion points, it was stated in a Council of Ministers press release.

  The visit of the Senate was added to a slew of recent positively experienced mainly in-person visits of which the last one being the recent visit of the State Secretary Van Huffelen to St. Maarten, it was stated in the release.

  The Senate was mostly interested in ways and means to continue to strengthen and foster relationships between the Dutch and the St. Maarten government, and how the Senate could assist St. Maarten in this process. “Having a better understanding of the historical, demographical, financial/economic, and political reality on the island is one of the foundation blocks of being able to build a more trustworthy partnership,” it was stated in the release.

  “The Council of Ministers reconfirmed its commitment to the national reform measures and indicated to the delegation that most of these were already included in its National Development Plan. However, the potential of the island needs to be more highlighted, and better profiling of the strengths of St. Maarten within the Caribbean through politics should occur. Upon request, clarification was provided regarding the absence of capital expenditures to invest in the prison and financial management, though approved yet not forthcoming. The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the same period that the current Council of Ministers assumed office, further negatively impacted the absence of the approved funds, resulting in no financial means for capital investments.”

  According to the release, the meeting continued with the Senate posing various questions to the ministers present which provided ministers the opportunity to explain the impact of the cost-cutting measures on education, the 10-year vision of the country where creative arts, safeguarding food security and agriculture, being more resilient to natural disasters – in particular, flooding – and improving infrastructure in general, were emphasised.

  In its closing words, the Council of Ministers re-emphasised its willingness to commit to the reforms, yet stressed that imposing while a consensus has to be sought does not aid in building open and trustworthy relations, neither does a one size fits all approach for all the countries within the Kingdom, or applying a negative generalised perception of all politicians in St. Maarten, the release said. The meeting ended with an exchange of gifts and a pledge to continue the open dialogue.

  After the meeting with the Council of Ministers, the prime minister and minister of justice joined the delegation at the VNP’s office where a presentation on the prison was provided; this continued with an update on the reconstruction projects followed by a tour displaying the actual progress of some of these projects. The prime minister and Director of the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) Claret Connor were able to further elucidate en route via the landfill, the John Larmonie Center shelter, and the Caribbean Heritage travel exhibit, then via the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the new General Hospital that is currently being built, and along the lagoon to witness the cleaned-up lagoon after the removal of the shipwrecks.

  Although the visit of the Kingdom Relations Committee occurred over the weekend, the prime minister said she deemed it important to invest the necessary time and opted to attend the different elements of the delegation’s programme as she equates the investment of this relationship with the long-term (financial/economic) well-being of the citizens of St. Maarten.

Source: The Daily Herald


  1. Mediators on Statia? To do what? Mediate between the corrupt government commissioners and the puppet island council?
    The government commissioners who always have played a role in selling the grounds of the island to white rich foreign investors. Those who would destroy the entire island because there are no feelings, no emotions about it.
    Being member of the island council means that you think you can do something within that system. How naive, so trustful to the white exploiters of the new plantation system, the tourism industry. Or are there perhaps personal motives, like the ones of any banana republic military? Or the filthy motives of the house negro.

    All play a part in the same show. Participating means being guilty to the legitimation of a colonial regime.
    Stop participating! Stop legitimating a colonial regime! Throw all collaborators in the sea!

  2. What would you expect from people who committed themselves to defending the dutch colonial system?
    What could you expect from people who are in fact, as they are the legislators or governing power, an integral part of the criminal system?
    Should you look at them for changes, for diminishing the social inequality based on racism and exploitation?
    Why not taking matters in your own hands?
    Never in history, freedom, equality or welfare has been reached without struggle.
    The dutch parasites and their corrupt collaborators only look at their own income, wealth, position or power.
    Get rid of them! Once a colonial helper, once a house negro, always one!