THE HAGUE–As expected, the Kingdom Council of Ministers gave Curaçao a budgetary instruction to drastically reduce the expected financial deficit for this year of more than 100 million Netherlands Antilles guilders. However, the Dutch Caribbean country will also get support with its financial management and stimulating the economy based on a “Growth Strategy” accord signed with the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, an objection known as “Crown Appeal” will be filed with the Council of State against the instruction. “We could have done without it,” said plenipotentiary Minister in The Hague Anthony Begina.
“Considering the economic situation on the island, partly due to the crisis in Venezuela, a cooperation agreement would have been enough. The CFT (Committee for Financial Supervision–Ed.) advised an instruction, but they could have deviated from that,” he argued.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and State Secretary for Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops said the instruction should not be viewed as distrusting the government in Willemstad. “The situation is different than for example in 2012, when a financial instruction was issued for the Schotte-cabinet,” stated Knops.
“If there were no confidence, we would not be making mutual arrangements. We have good relations with the Curaçao government, but there is also a Kingdom Financial Supervision Law that must be applied, and good reasons are needed to deviate from the CFT’s advice. We disagree over this, but that does not stand in the way of our cooperation,” he continued.
According to Knops, the Growth Strategy is more important than the instruction. “In the end it’s about growing the economy and creating jobs, because the unemployment is much too high,” the state secretary added.
Initially, the Dutch government was already going to issue the instruction a month ago, but Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath travelled to The Hague and managed to delay this decision by three weeks. During that period, Curaçao was to present a package of reforms and austerity measures that would make an instruction unnecessary.
A decision was again postponed by one week for more consultations about the package that apparently gave the Dutch government insufficient confidence to abandon the instruction altogether.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/89114-curacao-to-appeal-budget-instruction